Navigating Opportunities in Crisis: The Gratitude of Migrants in NYCNovember 24, 2023
Selene Sanchez is a new immigrant to New York City, who was driven by escalating gang violence in her home country, Ecuador. There, she, her husband, and their two-year-old son, Beymar, live in an emergency shelter. Sanchez wakes up early to work cleaning jobs to make ends meet. Despite facing numerous challenges, including stringent work permit rules, delay, and uncertainty about the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) application process, she expresses gratitude for the opportunity to build a better life for her family.
The city has seen a surge in new migrants, with over 130,000 people arriving in a recent wave, straining the local homeless shelter system. Amidst the political and economic turmoil caused by this influx, Mayor Adams announced wide-ranging cuts to public services in an attempt to address the crisis. Rallies have been held to advocate for better shelter sites and support structures for these new arrivals.
The challenges facing immigrants like Selene and her family are immense, with many struggling to find consistent work, secure housing, and obtain vital resources for the upcoming winter. Nonetheless, organizations like The Bowery Mission and volunteer groups are stepping up to offer support, including hosting special Thanksgiving dinners for migrants in need.
Karelia Tovar, another immigrant from Venezuela, arrived in New York over a year ago with her three kids. She too faces eviction from emergency shelter but is hopeful about her prospects and is thankful for the assistance she has received so far. Although her journey is fraught with uncertainty, Tovar remains optimistic about creating a better future for herself and her family in New York.