The People Who Fled

New Yorkers who escaped dire situations overseas talk about life after their journey

The wave of refugees fleeing to Europe in search of asylum is not abating. Hungary has recently sealed its borders, making travel to Germany difficult for migrants, and Europe is struggling with the decision on what to do next. New Yorkers, where some 37% of us were born in another country, and where a number of us were refugees, have a special connection to this issue. In light of President Obama’s announcement to let 10,000 Syrian refugees resettle in the United States, a rally was coordinated at Union Square to request the government to allow more refugees into the country. Those who attended shared their thoughts:

The video was shot and edited by Taeko Itabashi, and produced by Chris Cirillo, Natasa Bansagi, Stefania D’Ignoti, Ozzie Gooding, Meagan Jordan, Saher Khan, Kajsa Lundman, and Susmita Baral.

As Europe’s migrants await their fate, we wanted to ask refugees here what happens to those who flee to a new country, particularly those who came to New York and struggled—or still struggle—to survive. According to the UNHCR, there are 455,048 refugees in the United States and between Oct. 2014 and Aug. 2015, a total of 3,383 refugees arrived in New York. Our reporters interviewed refugees from countries from Nigeria to Tibet to Myanmar, China to Sierra Leone to Cambodia, Jamaica to Afghanistan to Liberia to Somalia.

Click through the map to read their stories.