NYC migrants struggle to stay warm amid frigid cold weather, snow

As snow falls throughout NYC and temperatures are forecast to plunge into the teens Friday, thousands of migrants are forced to brave the elements. 

Over at St. Brigid's School in the East Village, FOX 5 NY found migrants trying to get their hands on whatever they could to stay warm in this brutal cold. By Friday night, wind chills will dip as low as 7 degrees in Manhattan.

Lisa Marie and Cameron, East Village residents, stood outside St. Brigid's handing out blankets and jackets.

"I crowdfunded the other day for 45 pizza and got the money in an hour, and we delivered it," Lisa Marie told FOX 5 NY. "We've made peanut butter and jelly. We did 300 last night."

In Boreum Hill, Brooklyn, a line wrapped around the city office Thursday where ID NYC cards are given.

Some migrants spent the night on the sidewalk using cardboard boxes to stay warm, hoping to obtain an ID card.

"There are a lot of people and only 200 spots a day," said Katarina, a migrant from Ecuador. "You need the ID, so I had to get up early to get a spot."


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She showed up at 4 a.m. with her four-year-old son. By the time FOX 5 NY spoke to her, she had been on line for five hours. Her little boy was crying, saying his feet hurt from the cold.

There's a misconception that an ID NYC card will automatically lead to a job, but in order to work legally, one must be granted federal work authorization, which is a long legal process.

Immigrant advocates worry that misinformation, coupled with the desperation, is the reason migrants are willing to risk their own health in the bitter cold.

Meanwhile, the city is under a code blue due to the dangerous temperatures. 

"By law, we have to find places for people, so they can be out of the cold, so we will of course, do that for our migrant brother and sisters," said Anne Williams-Isom, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services.