St. Michael-St. Malachy Parish has been helping migrants since August, providing the newcomers with food, clothing and just as important — friendship.
Like many new restaurant owners, Sebastian Bongiovanni proudly displays $20 bills signed by customers wishing him good luck with his eatery, Verde’s Pizza and Pasta on Victory Boulevard. But Bongiovanni has something else on his wall — something you don’t usually see.
Salve Regina Catholic Academy in East New York has welcomed a new student — a young migrant who fled Venezuela with his family to seek a better life in the U.S. Marcell Contreras is adjusting well to school, officials said.
Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens has mobilized to help asylum seekers recently bussed to New York City from Texas. The staff hosted information sessions for about 200 people on Aug. 29 at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brooklyn Heights. The migrants received food boxes, toiletries, a hot lunch, and fellowship.
It took four months for Jennifer to journey from her home in Venezuela to New York City to flee the economic and social turmoil in that troubled nation. The final leg was a bus trip up from the southern border with Mexico.
After two busloads of migrants, sent directly from Texas by Gov. Greg Abbott, arrived in New York City last week, Mayor Eric Adams renewed calls for the federal government to help the city deal with the unexpected influx of newcomers.
Faith-based groups are voicing worries that lawmakers will extend already existing provisions to further prevent immigrants from entering the U.S. as legislators haggle over what will be included in a historic $260 billion spending bill focused on health care and the environment.
In response to Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s claim that migrants were “tricked” onto buses that shipped them from Texas to the nation’s capital, activist Abel Nuñez counters: “Whether they were tricked or not, they’re in your city, so what are you going to do about it?”
The Texas Catholic bishops urged immigration reform, saying it is necessary to prevent what happened to 53 migrants discovered dead and dying inside a trailer June 27 from happening again.
In many ways, Archbishop García-Siller echoes Pope Francis, who has called out the “indiscriminate trafficking of weapons” and those who treat migrants as “pawns on the chessboard of humanity” following tragedies such as mass shootings and the large-scale death of migrants.