ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Since May, asylees have been staying at the Sure Stay Best Western in Colonie. The guests there met in an abandoned parking lot across the street to figure out some solutions to their problems. Due to fear of retaliation from the hotel, faces of the migrants are blurred in the video linked.
One migrant says his family has been at the Sure Stay for one month. When it comes to their food, the guests say they are given expired meals and are expected to eat them. “She went down to tell them that it was spoiled and they simply threw it away and didn’t give her any other food. She did not have breakfast, she did not have food.”
And as guests of the hotel, they say it feels like they are not treated the same as anyone else who would have checked in. “They’re not able to use the facilities inside, from the pool to the gym equipment. When they attempt to go outside, they are quickly rushed into the hotel,” explained a translator.
Another asylee says that he wants to be able to provide for himself and not have to rely on extra aid. Something that cannot be done without working papers. With no outlet in or out of the hotel to spend their energy, they say their mental health is taking a toll. “A lot have lost families, family members, and have gone through various traumatic situations and have received no psychological assistance.”
Groups such as Capital District Latinos and Centro Civico have stepped in to help speed up their legal process and giving out necessities. “They can start submitting their paperwork that they need to put through immigration so they can start their process to get those working papers in order,” stated Director of the Migrant Relocation Assistance Program of Centro Civico, Rosa De La Cruz.
Both groups have a mission to make the immigrants feel welcome in New York, hoping to make this happen sooner than later. “We make sure to keep our doors open. To be welcoming to our brothers and sisters that have arrived. To keep them motivated,” said Director of Operations of Capital District Latinos, Jesenia Alcantara.
The asylum seekers are still waiting to see what help their children will receive when school starts in September. The immigrants say they still aren’t sure what education will be available for their kids.