NEW YORK CITY - After crossing the southern border illegally, Gabriel Diaz, his wife and their son, made their way to New York City.
"I knew people here that could help me," he said, referring to migrants who, like him, are seeking asylum in the United States.
As the reality of settling in America starts to sink in, Diaz is dealing with financial frustrations.
"It’s hard because I don’t have the papers of permission to work," he said.
For now, he and his family are living in one of the hotels the city has set up as an emergency shelter during the crisis. He said he’s working under the table for cash, delivering food.
Under federal law after filing an asylum claim, migrants must wait six months before attempting to work legally.
"This is very worrisome," Diaz said. He's trying to figure out how he will provide for his family long term.
"It’s hard, but it’s harder in my country," he said.
Diaz and his family left Venezuela, a nation which, for years, has been plunged in a political, economic and humanitarian crisis.
He said poverty and danger forced his family to run away. Asylum seekers in the United States fear persecution due to things such as politics, religion and race, for example.
Venezuela is a nation which, for years, has been plunged in a political, economic and humanitarian crisis.
According to the city, resources are at capacity. To date, around 140,000 migrants and asylum seekers have come to New York City since last spring, looking for shelter while they wait for their immigrant cases to be finalized.
In a recent statement to FOX 5 NY, a spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams said, "Time and again, Mayor Adams has warned that we are past our breaking point, we have run out of space to accommodate migrants without limits."
Recent statement to FOX 5 NY.
Now, the city is doing what it can to funnel migrants out of the emergency shelter system, recently establishing a ticketing center to get those willing to leave a plane ticket and imposing limits on shelter stays. It’s currently a 60-day limit for families.
Diaz sees the writing on the wall – "A lot of people in the streets are like me, they don’t have a way."