VIVE Buffalo Says 100 Refugees from Congo Arrived in WNY

VIVE Buffalo says help is needed to provide basic needs

Tom Puckett
June 17, 2019 - 6:19 pm

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) VIVE Buffalo says 100 refugees from Congo have arrived, making the trek across the ocean to Brazil, through Central American and Mexico. They are seeking asylum in the US.

"Over the last ten days, we have seen 100 asylum seekers," says Anna Ireland with VIVE Buffalo. "It's a huge influx of people at one time, and we are working on getting basic needs."

Ireland says her shelter is just under the maximum capacity, and normally there are 10 to 20 people at a time at the shelter per week.  "We are managing to pull together needs but we are also asking people for help," says Ireland.

Ireland says she's posted lists of products needed on the shelter's Facebook page, and she's seeking emergency funding to cover the costs. 

Ireland says to win asylum, they must prove they deserve asylum, a process that can last two years.

She adds conditions are "rough enough that they would be willing to travel a long, unknown road with their children. One of our new arrivals called it a death row, as many died of disease or violence as they moved through Central American countries."

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