Immigrant Rights Advocates and Community Organizations Welcome Asylum Seekers to Erie County

Buffalo, NY—Early this morning, two buses carrying 50 asylum seekers arrived in Erie County from New York City. Upon their arrival, the New York Immigration Coalition, Jericho Road Community Health Center (JRCHC), Justice for Migrant Families and Jewish Family Services’ Refugee and Immigrant Center for Healing welcomed our new neighbors to Erie County, helping them get acclimated to their new home and addressing their immediate needs. 

New York City has contracted with an intermediary who will be responsible for providing shelter and food for the new arrivals. The intermediary has, in turn, contracted with JRCHC, who is partnering with the aforementioned groups to do new arrival intakes and provide supportive services such as case management, legal services, and assisting people in getting to their final destinations.

Buffalo-area groups and partners have been welcoming new arrivals to our communities for decades. The Buffalo area is currently home to over 12,000 refugees from Afghanistan, Congo, Ecuador, Somalia, Ukraine, Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Venezuela and other countries. 

“This morning, our immigrant rights community showed up to give the asylum seekers arriving in Buffalo the dignified welcome that they deserve. The City of Good Neighbors has been revitalized by immigrants and refugees in the past, and we look forward to supporting our newest neighbors as they build on this rich tradition, should they decide to plant roots in Western New York. To make this transition as seamless as possible, we are looking forward to further coordination and support from New York State and NYC to ensure that our new arrivals can thrive in our city and in our communities,” said Meghan Maloney de Zaldivar, Upstate Director of Organizing and Strategy, New York Immigration Coalition.

"Jericho Road Community Health Center is committed to caring for our neighbor. We intend to do this well. The folks coming in from NYC are asylum seekers. They have fled horrible situations and have traveled a long and dangerous journey to get here. They are our neighbors  and we welcome them. We know that as they find safety and refuge here, our City, State, and Nation will be better for it. At Jericho Road, we have done this work for many years. We are working with our partners, as well as local and state governments, as we walk out this care and as we stand in the gap for this vulnerable population. Their burdens are heavy and their journey has been long, but Buffalo, the City of Good Neighbors, is well equipped for this care," said Dr. Myron Glick, Founder and CEO, Jericho Road Community Health Center.

“Justice for Migrant Families is dedicated to welcoming all new arrivals to Buffalo with dignity, humanity and hope. We know that folks have had long journeys to the United States, and continue to face the challenging realities of the US Immigration System once they arrive in the country. We have now, and will continue to, weave together the rich tapestry of cultures, traditions and histories of all of our neighbors that make Buffalo and WNY a great place to live,” said Jennifer Connor, Executive Director, Justice for Migrant Families WNY.

“Jewish Family Services of Western New York has a proud history of welcoming the stranger.  Our work is driven by Jewish values and beliefs.  Beliefs such as K’vod HaB’riot, that every person has great value and deserves to be treated with respect and the belief in Tzedakah, helping those in need.  No one chooses to flee their home.  We will be there to help those arriving in our community seeking safety and refuge,” said Dr. Molly Carr, CEO, Jewish Family Services of Western New York.