WXXI AM News

Saint's Place helping refugees, regardless of federal policies

Jan 10, 2018

Credit saintsplace.org

Governor Cuomo is directing state officials to offer assistance to the 16,000 Salvadorans who now live in New York State under a federal policy giving them temporary residency after a 2001 earthquake.

The Trump administration has decided to end Temporary Protected Status in 2019 to some 200,000 migrants nationwide.

Saint's Place in Rochester helps refugees, including those from El Salvador, with clothing, house hold items and tutoring.

Director Isabel Miller says the governor's directive could be helpful.

Isabel Miller directs Saint's Place
Credit saintsplace.org

"It might be.  Sure, if it awakens interest in care in helping refugees, then it's useful," she said.

Miller says they'll continue their work, regardless of changes to policy.

"We are very much in favor of reaching out and helping in any way that we can, because we believe in the plight of the refugees.  As a ministry we hope that he will ease up.  The problem is you cannot predict with this man.  So, to say oh woe, oh woe, what are we going to do is not the way act at Saint's Place.  We're very proactive, so we just continue to help the refugees," she said.

Department of Homeland Security officials have said El Salvador has received significant international aid and that much of the country's infrastructure has been rebuilt since the earthquake.

And the 18 month delay in implementing the change gives Congress time to address the issue.