(NewsNation) — Nearly 8,000 migrants have arrived in New York City since May.
While the influx of new people has tested city services, the process has been no cakewalk for those seeking asylum, either.
“We are lost,” one migrant, Euclides Pena, told NewsNation.
Pena left his wife and family at home in Venezuela June 1, and embarked on a journey to the United States, along with his cousin and two brothers-in-law.
Traveling from Colombia, Pena went on to Panama. From there, he went through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico before making it to Texas.
Then last week, Pena arrived in New York City on one of the buses sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, which showed up at the Port Authority last week. Abbott is sending migrants in Texas on buses to New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago in protest of President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.
Like many of the migrants who came to New York, Pena eventually found his way to the Red Cross complex on Manhattan’s west side, where a variety of city service providers have assembled a makeshift welcome center.
“They help you socially, (with) questions about immigration, about health, help economically, with food, and with clothes, shoes, medicine — oh, and also education for the kids,” Pena said.
Everything is well organized at the complex, Pena said.
“They will give you a helping hand, because we don’t have much information here and we don’t speak English,” Pena said.
He said people at the facility provide information about the things immigrants need to get a job, such as an identification card.
“It’s not like you don’t want to work,” Pena said. “We come here to work. One comes to work in this country, and be productive.”
Now, Pena hopes New York City Mayor Eric Adams takes measures to help immigrants get jobs, so they can raise money and help their families back home.