Buffalo’s Refugee Agencies Petition State to Cover Federal Funding Gap Under Trump

March 20, 2019. This article discusses the 14 refugee resettlement agencies that came together from across New York State to urge lawmakers and the governor to expand their funding from $2 million to $4.5 million to help with the funding gap these agencies are facing due to the Trump administration’s refugee cap. The author goes on to note that both the senate and executive budget bills don’t include funding for these agencies, but the Assembly bill allocates $2 million.

The proposal would increase annual funding to $4.5 million from $2 million, the programs’ annual cost for the past two fiscal years. Service organizations say they need the additional funds to provide critical services to the almost 40,000 refugees who have settled in New York since 2006 – more than 12,700 of them in Erie County.

Such organizations have seen their statewide federal funding fall by $4.5 million from 2016 levels, according to the left-leaning Fiscal Policy Institute. Federal funding is allotted on the basis of new refugee arrivals, which have also dropped sharply over that period.

The program has funded language classes and other integration services for refugees who cannot regularly leave their homes within the 90-day federal window, such as mothers of young children and senior citizens with mobility problems, Hassett said. Advocates also argue the state funding could be used to attract more secondary migrants to Buffalo, such as the “several thousand” Bangladeshis who have already relocated to the East Side from downstate.

These migrants have bought homes, filled job vacancies and offset regional population loss, Hassett said. Between 2010 and 2017, Erie County lost some 20,000 people to other U.S. cities, according to the Census Bureau. But it gained 24,641 new international residents over the same period.

 

Here is the link to the Buffalo News.

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