New York, Aug 26 (EFE).- Immigrant aid and advocacy organizations in New York issue an appeal Friday for help from the state and municipal governments in meeting the needs of thousands of asylum-seekers sent to the Big Apple from Texas by Gov. Greg Abbott.
The New York Immigration Coalition staged a rally on the steps of City Hall to request $40 million in support for their efforts to provide the migrants with legal advice, health care, food, housing, job training and education.
The groups taking part in the “Welcoming New York” campaign have been using their own resources to aid between 7,000 and 10,000 asylum-seekers who have arrived in the city since May.
The coalition is asking President Joe Biden’s administration to include the migrants bussed to New York in the federal program for refugees.
“Now is the time for every level of government to develop a coordinated strategy that includes support for community groups like our member organizations that have both the trust and experience to help immigrants to successfully integrate and thrive in New York,” coalition executive director Murad Awawdeh said.
“We cannot further endanger the lives of vulnerable people who continue to be used like pawns in a game that they had no part in creating,” he said, pointing to the risks and hardships the migrants endured to reach the United States.
Abbott, a Republican running for re-election in November, started bussing migrants to Washington in April to dramatize his complaint that Democrat Biden is not doing enough to help Texas manage what the governor calls a crisis on the Mexican border.
Texas subsequently expanded the program to include dispatching migrants to New York, a liberal Democratic stronghold.
Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has had to rent 1,300 hotel and motel rooms to accommodate the asylum-seekers and the city’s largest-in-the-nation school system is preparing for at least 1,000 new students.
Dr. Yocasta Peña of the Latino physicians organization Somos, which has met the incoming migrants at the Port Authority bus station, said that around 30 percent of them arrive exhausted, dehydrated and suffering from health problems. EFE rh/dr