Church doing its bit to help NY’s booming migrant crisis

NY migrant crisis

There’s a booming migrant crisis exploding across New York City. The city’s bursting. NYC Mayor Adams has declared a state of emergency.

Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan is trying to fix it – or at least, get some relief.

He’s been calling out for a fellow Catholic, President Joe Biden, to help with the “tragic, broken” migrant system.

He’s also been calling on NYC Governor Kathy Hochul to help.

Neither seems to care.

He says Biden hasn’t answered his calls. Or letters.

He’s also unimpressed with Hochul’s response to him.

“I’ve spoken with the governor a number of times and haven’t gotten too much consolation,” he said on Saturday.

The next day the Daily Mail reported Hochul as having called for a ‘historic humanitarian response’.

The migrant crisis

The US is seeing burgeoning migrant numbers everywhere – and NYC has become the migrant crisis epicentre.

Between the US Spring of 2022 and August 2023, over 100,000 new immigrants moved to NYC. Costs are projected to run up to $12 billion in the coming years. People will need housing and other basic services.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams says 10,000 migrants are now arriving every month in New York. They’re overwhelming the already cramped city.

The Big Apple has long run out of space in hotels and homeless shelters. But it also has a legal obligation to provide a bed for anyone who asks for one.

“New York just can’t handle them all, we know that,” Dolan says.

“It’s very unfair. This is [also] an American problem.”

NYC mayor rallies religious leaders

Dolan is full of praise for Adams.

“He’s been very good about rallying religious leaders, asking our help to advocate with the federal government which has done hardly anything, [and] with the state government which hasn’t done much.”

A few months ago, Adams publicly called for under-utilised buildings to be used to house migrants.

NYC Archdiocese — with nearly 300 parishes and 156 Catholic schools — heeded the call. They lent the city several former convents and schools.

“The mayor told us that he really needed some desk help in meeting the people and taking their records and helping to get them settled,” he says, pointing to the work of the archdiocese’s Catholic Charities.

The Church is helping find migrants housing, schooling, clothing, healthcare and legal assistance, Dolan says.

“Every day hundreds come in” Dolan says.

“We look them in the eyes, get their names and we love them and say, ‘You’re part of us now. You’re not a number.’”

But the task is overwhelming.

“We make sure that the priests are there, that the people feel welcome for mass and the sacraments,” Dolan said.

What now?

Dolan feels the current system is “terribly wrecked” and needs “dramatic immigration reform.”

“For us, it’s not so much about politics and policy . . . we have to leave that to others.

“Our sacred responsibility is to help them. We hate to see these people suffer.”


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,