Recently, Assemblyman Sean Ryan joined a number of other politicians and refugee rights advocates to announce that $2 million had been secured in the State Budget to ensure refugee resettlement agencies across NY State would have the ways and means to continue on with their programming efforts, even in the face of mounting adversity from the federal government. Ryan also announce that an additional $10 million from the State Budget would be directed to The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), an organization that provides immigrant legal defense services across New York.
“These vital programs provided by refugee resettlement agencies assist individuals as they make the transition to life in a new country far from the tragic circumstances they bravely left behind,” said Ryan. “I am proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with my Assembly colleagues who represent Upstate communities, and refugee resettlement agencies, as we fought for this critically important funding. I am excited to announce today that we have secured $2 million dollars to ensure refugees continue to receive vital services here in Erie County, and across New York State. This was a major team effort, and I am thankful that our state budget invests in the continued economic revival of Buffalo and Western New York.”
“This funding represents another first and unique step by New York State,” added Eva Hassett, Executive Director of the International Institute of Buffalo. “Refugees drive population growth, workforce expansion, new business growth and neighborhood revitalization in WNY and across upstate. Supporting the successful integration of our refugee population is critical to the region’s resurgence. When refugees succeed, it helps every one of us. We are THRILLED that New York State recognizes this and has now gone on record as welcoming and supporting refugees. We are deeply grateful to Assemblyman Ryan, Senator Jacobs, and the entire WNY and Upstate delegation for their leadership.”
Buffalo has become a very welcoming city for immigrants and refugees, and will continue to carry on with its open arm practices despite the threat of the President’s 120-day pause in refugee resettlement. Buffalo’s resettlement agencies are funded via the number of refugees on a per arrival basis. Without new refugees arriving, the funding would get slashed and the agencies would have no choice other than to cut employees and programming. When we see the incredible cultural benefits that the refugees have introduced to the West Side of the city, it’s hard to imagine the city without a healthy growing population of citizens who continue to be rescued from war-torn countries.
As for the refugee resettlement efforts in Buffalo, we typically have proven systems in place when it comes to ensuring that the new arrivals have everything that they need to be acclimated. If you stop to think about it, there are cities throughout the world that dealing with similar measures. Have you ever considered what these other cities are facing, and how they are coping with these uncertain times?
Recently, a group of Buffalo State graduate students traveled to Dortmund, Germany, where they spent three weeks studying ways that German universities are supporting New Germans and refugees. Now, these students will be sharing what they came away with, in hopes that the lessons that they learned can be helpful to others (universities in particular) who are looking for ways to enhance the resettling efforts that are still underway in Buffalo, and elsewhere.
The discussion will be held on Monday, April 17, 2017, at The Campbell Student Union Assembly Hall at 7pm.