FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2023
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Serves Approximately 7,000 Asylum Seekers
Agency Prepared to Assist New Influx Expected with End of Title 42 Public Health Order
Brooklyn and Queens– Recognizing the plight of asylum seekers traveling through the southern border and their difficulties upon arriving in New York City, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has organized a collective response in both boroughs to welcome and provide essential emergency services to the new arrivals and their families. Since July 2022, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has served approximately 7,000 asylum seekers—and provided a total of 22,000 service units.
As one of the leading social service providers at the New York City Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has intimately engaged with the City to provide the services the asylum seekers need upon arrival. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens’ programs and affiliates offer asylees limited financial assistance, emergency food and food pantry access, hot meals, clothing, diapers, English as a Second Language classes, access to WIC nutrition programs, NYC ID referrals, workforce development resources and MetroPlusHealth insurance.
For new arrivals with children, in addition to WIC nutrition services, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens also offers resources, information and referrals to Catholic Charities Head Start programs and New York City schools.
“The new arrivals are leaving horrendous situations in their home countries in search of safety, work, and an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. The parishes are doing an incredible amount of work with us to help them acclimate to New York City and we couldn’t do the work we are doing without them,” said Reverend Monsignor Alfred P. LoPinto, President and Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and Affiliated Agencies. With the Title 42 public health order set to end, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, affiliates and parish partners–while at capacity, is prepared to continue providing services as needed.
Catholic Migration Services, Inc., a Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens affiliate, has provided legal services to over 200 new arrivals, participated in multiple legal workshop clinics, and provided training to volunteer legal advocates to help with the surge of new migrants who have entered New York City over the last year.
Recently, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens began offering free Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) construction worker training workshops at local parishes, ensuring their safety as they prepare to work in the future.
Parishes in the Diocese of Brooklyn, particularly those close to shelters where asylees are placed, have opened their doors to make their facilities available for OSHA training, hot meals, clothing drives, and baby showers for new and expectant parents.
About Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens:
For over 124 years, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has been providing quality social services to the neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens and currently offers 160-plus programs and services for children, youth, adults, older adults, and those struggling with mental illness. Since 1975, Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corporation, the affordable housing developer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, has been transforming vacant land and buildings into affordable housing units and transforming the lives of individuals and families, and completed more than 4,567 units with supportive services for seniors, families, veterans and the formerly homeless. Since the pandemic began, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has provided much-needed food packages and services at 60 Catholic Charities parish-based food pantries and has distributed over $12 million in food assistance. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens continues to deliver crucial mental health counseling, housing services, family services, early childhood education, and emergency services. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens continues to deliver crucial mental health counseling, housing services, family services, early childhood education, and emergency services. For more information, please visit https://www.ccbq.org/annual-report-2022/ and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @cathcharitiesBQ or @catholiccharitiesBQ.
As Title 42 Expires, New York Immigrant Advocates Keep Working
After three years of using Title 42 to control the number of migrants crossing the border, the policy will finally expire tomorrow.
Title 42’s stated objective was to suspend the “introduction” of certain individuals who have been in “Coronavirus Impacted Areas,” and was used to expel many migrants at the southern border without letting them seek asylum. The federal government ended the national health emergency to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic last month, consequently necessitating the end of Title 42 too.
The number of undocumented migrants crossing the border has recently been estimated at around 7,500 per day. However, U.S. officials expect that number to increase to 13,000 each day as soon as Title 42 ends.
This means that destination or transitory cities that many migrants head to — such as New York City — are likely to see more migrants arrive.
A key question remains: Will New York City be able to provide necessary humanitarian services — shelter, food, and legal assistance — to migrants if there is an increased need?
Organizations Documented spoke to are continuing their work of providing information to migrants, connecting them to resources, and strengthening their ability to represent themselves in court. That includes UnLocal, which provides direct immigration legal representation and education to immigrants.
“We have experience in working with people who are seeking asylum, we have experience in working with people who are looking for humanitarian options for their immigration status,” UnLocal Executive Director Terry Lawson said. “And we are spending a lot of time at UnLocal thinking through Pro Se options with our community partners, and really doing our best in whatever ways we can.”
Community supporters, volunteers, and pro bono attorneys have been helping recently arrived migrants to receive Pro Se assistance in completing and filing their asylum and work authorization applications. The Pro Se Plus Project, which UnLocal and its partners run, trains people to understand the requirements for asylum so that they too can help recently arrived migrants.
“We want people to have access to information, and teach them what to do when you are in court,” Lawson said. This includes how to fill out an I-589 asylum application form. “So that we take away some of the mystery around it, which is really scary for people, and so we feel like people are as equipped as they can be going in, knowing that it’s going to be very hard for them to get a lawyer.”
As Texas Governor Greg Abbott began sending migrants that had crossed the Texas-Mexico border to New York City last summer, mutual aid groups and nonprofit organizations stepped up to help them access food, clothing, legal services, and other assistance.
The City administration also stepped up its efforts to help migrants by setting up a dedicated team as well as humanitarian relief centers to house them. Now, those services may need to meet a growing demand in the coming weeks.
To create more space in the City for migrants who might arrive, Mayor Eric Adams has said migrants who are already in the City and are willing to head to other neighboring communities like the Hudson Valley will be transported there.
Officials in the region haven’t embraced the idea. Two days ago, Rockland County even declared a state of emergency for 30 days and barred the City administration from sending migrants to its communities.
“Sending busloads of people to this county that does not have the infrastructure to care for them will only compound that issue tenfold while straining support systems that are already at a breaking point,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day in a statement.
Adams has said only single adult men will be sent to the Hudson Valley for up to four months, as the City is trying to create more space for new migrants.
Andrew Heinrich, executive director and supervising attorney at Project Rosseau, offered representation on Monday to someone who only got to New York last week on a bus from Texas. On average, between 40 to 50 families visit Project Rousseau weekly to use their immigration screening services.
“I evaluated their case and we offered them representation that quickly,” he said. “So that’s the only way we’re going to be able to stay ahead of the curve here.”
Read the original story in Documented: As Title 42 Expires, New York Immigrant Advocates Keep Working
Photo: Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens
August 29, 2022
By Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens
Yesterday, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Catholic Migration Services, and the St. Charles Borromeo Parishioner volunteers welcomed over 140 migrants and asylum seekers at an information session and lunch at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Downtown Brooklyn. Since July, over 220 asylum seekers have come to Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Community Outreach Center in Brooklyn seeking assistance. To welcome them, provide support, and help them settle in further, we teamed up with Catholic Migration Services for a Spanish-language informational session that addressed deportation, ICE, change of address and applying for Asylee status.
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens also provided small produce boxes with fresh fruit, loaves of bread, toiletry/food bags, COVID test kits, socks, masks and other necessities. The St. Charles Borromeo volunteers donated and served lunch for the attendees. Additional Catholic Charities social service staff were in attendance with information and resources.
For over 124 years, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, through its social services arm, Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc., has been providing quality social services to the neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens and currently offers 160-plus programs and services for children, youth, adults, older adults, and those struggling with mental illness. Since 1975, Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corporation, the affordable housing developer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, has been transforming vacant land and buildings into affordable housing units and transforming the lives of individuals and families, and completed more than 4,450 units with supportive services for seniors, families, veterans and the formerly homeless. Since the pandemic began, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has provided much-needed food packages and services at 56 Catholic Charities parish-based food pantries and has distributed over $8.5 million in food assistance. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens continues to deliver crucial mental health counseling, housing services, family services and early childhood education and COVID vaccines at a variety of locations. For more information, please visit www.ccbq.org.