The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs on Wednesday announced that the City will provide $1.5 million in funding to assist newly arrived Haitian migrants who are fleeing the country in response to the compounding crisis of natural disasters and political upheaval.
Many of these new arrivals are settling in the state of New York, which has the second-largest population of foreign-born Haitians in the United States.
MOIA, in partnership with the Haitian Studies Institute of CUNY Brooklyn, will distribute the funds to community-based organizations to ensure the City provides culturally responsive case management and immigration legal services in both Kreyol and French.
“We are excited to work with CBOs staffed by Haitian New Yorkers, and located immediately within our City’s Haitian communities, who provide daily support and services to their fellow community members including those who have recently resettled in New York City,” said Raquel Batista, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Legal services will include assistance in accessing Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and other humanitarian forms of relief, removal and deportation defense. Efforts will also include an anti-fraud and information messaging campaign across community & ethnic media.
“After traveling across several miles and months to seek refuge in the U.S., thousands of Haitian New Yorkers need critical resources and supportive services to recover from the emotional, mental and physical toll of this ordeal,” said City Councilmember Farah N. Louis, whose district includes parts of Flatbush, which boasts the largest community of Haitians in New York.
Louis traveled recently with a small delegation of community leaders to meet some of the Haitian migrants in Del Rio, TX, where the migrants shared with the delegation their traumatic experiences.
“We saw firsthand the mistreatment they endured,” said Louis. “Now is the time for us to come together as a city of immigrants – in faith and love – to take the necessary action and help one another.”
Organizations scheduled to receive funding to help administer services include:
· Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
· Caribbean Women’s Health Association
· Diaspora Community Services
· Flanbwayan Literacy Project
· Haitian Americans United for Progress (HAUP)
· Haitian American Community Coalition (HCC)
· Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees
· Life of Hope