Bhutanese refugees use Bronx as stop on way to new lives

There have been many stories in newspapers in communities all over the US over the last year as Bhutanese refugees have been resettled from the camps on the Nepali border where they’ve lived for years. But this one, in the NY Times, looks at how the city once seen as the magnet for immigrants (and the city where I was raised after my grandfather had been brought to the US from Italy as a baby) is no longer necessarily desirable for newcomers.

This man, for instance, moved with his family from the Bronx to Raleigh, NC, because of the lack of support in and financial stresses of NY:


“This is especially true for new immigrant populations like the Bhutanese, who, numbering more than 250 since 2008, have arrived in New York in small numbers and lack established social networks to turn to for support. Some are improvising, creating those communities elsewhere — in smaller, less expensive cities where relatives have already been resettled.

Those who have left the Bronx building said they were driven out of the city mainly by the high cost of living, particularly rent.

During his year in New York City, in the throes of the economic downturn, Mr. Mishra and his two sisters struggled to find jobs and were barely able to cover basic expenses, including the $975 monthly rent for their one-bedroom apartment. While new refugees have immediate access to financial support and other services from government and private sources, that aid often begins to dissipate after several months.”

Thanks, Andrew!


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