Migrants arrive in Capital Region after journey from southern border
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13 Investigates has learned migrants are arriving in the Capital Region. Many are arriving on buses from the southern border, brought to the area from New York City because they have a connection here.
Albany has declared itself a ‘sanctuary city.’ The designation, in which officials pledge to limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities, has long been popular among progressives pressing to ensure the government treats migrants humanely.
But a local nonprofit says it’s struggling to keep up with the influx of migrants arriving in Albany with few resources but the clothes on their backs.
Capital District Latinos tells NewsChannel 13 they’ve been helping an increase of migrants who are sent to Albany after arriving in New York City from the southern border as southern states bus asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants, north.
The nonprofit has helped two people just this week who said they had a connection or family in the Capital Region and were sent to the area from New York City on a bus.
“We’ve been able to meet some of the essential needs. But now the concern is, the influx of who we’re seeing coming in who are basically being dropped here only because they said they know somebody,” said Micky Jimenez, Regional Director of Capital District Latinos.
One struggle unfolding this week has been giving medical attention to one man who made it to Albany from the El Paso, Texas border. NewsChannel 13 is calling him John.
Volunteer Millie Figueroa told NewsChannel 13 that John knocked on her door last weekend, in bad shape. He came with family that knew her home would be a safe place to seek help.
“The gentlemen, one was sick, he was coughing, runny nose, so I thought he had a cold or something,” she said.
The next day, staff from Capital District Latinos took him to St. Peter’s Hospital.
They showed photos of his body—worn down from his journey that started in Venezuela, took him through jungles of Central America and finally to the Texas border.
It turns out John has much than a cold. Doctors say he has cancer.
“So what happens next, how does he get a primary care physician, how does he navigate the system?” asked Jimenez.
NewsChannel 13 watched as Jimenez tried to get John help from a case worker.
She says, he has nowhere to go and could be dropped at a homeless shelter in Albany when he’s discharged Friday—in a place where he doesn’t know the language, and now faces a serious diagnosis. By noon Thursday, she still had no answers.
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“We are now at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 messages since this morning and no call back yet,” Jimenez said with a sigh.
“It raises a fundamental question for us as a community organization that is physically in the middle of Albany, which is a sanctuary city, as to what real meaning does it have to be a sanctuary city if there is no infrastructure in place to help people seeking asylum or undocumented folks that are arriving here,” said Dan Irizarry, Board Chairman of Capital District Latinos.
NewsChannel 13 reached out to the City of Albany Thursday. The Mayor’s office promised more information as soon as it was available, but had not commented by the publication of this article.
NewsChannel 13 is still working to get specifics on how many migrants are arriving and to where.
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