Daniele Gaspar is trying his hardest to retain what he’s being taught in a job training course. He’s hoping it will help him find legal work in New York City once his authorization papers come in, but that could be months or even years away.
“Thank God for Catholic Charities, they’ve been so helpful to us in the process, we get training and certifications but we can’t work, need more assistance,” Gaspar said.
Still he and dozens of other asylum seekers sit in these classes put on by Catholic Charities Brooklyn & Queens every day in the auditorium of St. Pius V in Jamaica. The parish has become a one-stop-shop for new arrivals.
Josefa Castro is the director of parish and community relations for Queens in charge of Catholic Charities’ operation there, a place where asylum seekers come to meet with case workers, connect to medical services, get job training and even a hot meal.
But Castro says with Title 42 no longer being enforced, the situation at the southern border is about to reach its boiling point.
“We’re expecting more people, definitely, more people are going to be coming to Catholic Charities’ doors and we’re here to help them out to the best of our capacity,” Castro said.
The city has designated, and taxpayers are funding, 120 emergency shelters to house the surges of people traveling up from the border. But Mayor Eric Adams says the city is running out of space, some are now being housed in school gyms, like at one at P.S. 188 in Coney Island.
Daniele says he’s grateful to Catholic Charities but the only people who should have access to the country are those seeking asylum from horrors like the political violence and poverty he fled in Venezuela.
“The government should have control over the border, not everybody should be able to come in, only those seeking asylum and applying,” he said.
According to the mayor’s office it’s unclear how many migrants will be bused into New York City from the border now that Title 42 has ended, last week saw the arrival of another 4,200.