#Migrants #political #pawns
After leaving Venezuela and traveling north for 41 days, Gustavo Mendez is now among migrants arriving in New York on buses chartered by Republican leaders vying to get a political mark in US immigration policy put.
Mendez, 40, a chef and programming technician, was one of hundreds of asylum seekers busted north by ultraconservative Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to pressure President Joe Biden’s administration to oppose the boundary to proceed crossings.
Abbott, who is seeking re-election in November’s midterm election, has been sending migrants to Washington for months and recently hustled them to New York, two heavily Democratic cities, a move critics have dismissed as a political tactic to rally conservative voters.
On Wednesday, Manuel Castro, the New York Mayor’s office of immigrant affairs commissioner, reiterated that notion as the last buses arrived in the city, criticizing Abbott for “using people as political pawns” to “goad anti-immigrants.” “. Feeling.”
“This is a historic and unprecedented situation. Again, this is a political stunt by Governor Abbott,” he said.
Castro condemned the behavior and criticized a lack of communication from Texas officials, but insisted that “New York City is here to support the arriving asylum seekers”.
“Our priority is the well-being of these individuals and families. Many have arrived thirsty, hungry and in need of medical attention.”
Ambulances and dozens of volunteers waited for the buses to arrive on Wednesday.
Some of the asylum seekers are women and children, but many are single men, mostly Venezuelans, arriving with all their belongings in a plastic bag or small backpack after a grueling journey that can last around four months.
About 4,000 asylum seekers and refugees have arrived in New York City since May, according to local officials, who have expressed plans to open new reception centers to accommodate the influx of people.
They will all receive appointments with the immigration authorities in the coming months, who will decide their future.
– Limited options –
Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Haitians can benefit from the Temporary Protected Status program introduced by the US Congress to allow migrants whose home countries are deemed unsafe to remain in the US and work for a temporary period.
But for migrants whose cases don’t fit this program, it’s a struggle to gain a foothold in a country that doesn’t allow them to work legally and where they have to wait forever for their immigration appointments.
That’s the case of Richard Castillo, a 28-year-old Peruvian who arrived in New York on May 7 with two young children and his wife – and doesn’t have an appointment until March next year.
They have the basic necessities of food and a place to sleep in a homeless shelter, but no right to work.
They must wear electronic ankle bracelets to prevent attempts to work, under threat of deportation.
“They gave me the opportunity to be in the United States, but I don’t have the opportunity to work to advance,” he said tearfully.
#Migrants #political #pawns