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African migrants rally outside city hall, seek promised opportunities

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Approximately 1,300 African migrants gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday morning, drawn by promises of work visas or green cards as they sought to participate in a crucial hearing addressing the challenges faced by migrants within the city’s shelter system.

The scene unfolded as a select 250 individuals were allowed entry for the 10 a.m. hearing, leaving the majority stranded outside in a nearby park, where they congregated, chanting, and cheering for their voices to be heard. The crowd primarily comprised recent arrivals from Guinea, West Africa, allegedly mobilized by an activist group, according to insider sources.

Many migrants shared stories of being informed by fellow community members that attendance at the hearing could lead to securing work visas or green cards, spurring their attendance en masse.

The purpose of the hearing, convened jointly by the City Council’s Committee of Immigration and Committee on Hospitals, centered on illuminating the challenges faced by African migrants residing in shelters.

The hearing aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Adams Administration’s efforts in addressing language barriers, cultural obstacles, healthcare needs, and other impediments confronting these new arrivals.

Preceding the testimonial phase, committee members engaged with activists entrenched in supporting African migrant communities, shedding light on the essential services and interventions that these organizations provide.

The gathering underscored the pressing concerns and aspirations of the African migrant community, highlighting their eagerness for meaningful engagement and tangible pathways towards residency and employment amid the complexities of the city’s shelter system.

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