'A migrant's life is very hard' - NYC asylum seekers struggle to survive

Life for the more than 130,000 migrants that have arrived in New York City has been a struggle, caught between a city struggling to provide the minimums for them and a lack of work opportunities.

As a result, many are selling whatever goods they can to try and make ends meet.

For Dennis Rico, it's arepas. The Venezuelan migrant walks the streets of Manhattan selling the authentic dish, making around $100 a day.

Many of his customers are other migrants. 


NYC migrants facing challenges after arriving in US | Migrants in America

Gabriel Diaz and his family left Venezuela, a nation which, for years, has been plunged in a political, economic and humanitarian crisis.

"I don't have legal documents," Rico says, explaining why he's selling food on the street. 

Rico and his family currently live in an emergency shelter established by the city, but he knows their time there will eventually run out, so he is trying to lay the foundation for a future in any way he can.

"A migrant's life… is very hard," Rico said. 

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Rico and his family left Venezuela in search of a better life, due to the poverty and political turmoil plaguing his home nation.

"It’s a reality that’s very hard … very hard and complicated," he said.

While he misses Venezuela, Rico says he's not focusing on what he's trying to build, as he uses the food he loves to move towards his version of the American dream. 

For years, countless migrants and asylum seekers have made the dangerous and illegal journey into the United States. Now, in unprecedented numbers, they are seeking refuge in New York City. The situation has created a humanitarian crisis. In FOX 5 NY’s "Migrants In America: In Their Own Words," asylum seekers explain how the pursuit of the American dream has made uncertainty their reality.