The future is looking brighter for local refugee resettlement agencies.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan announced Wednesday that the new budget includes $2 million for resettlement agencies across the state. Ryan says, it's "a big win" for the agencies and the Western New York economy. And he says it's the first time that New York state has invested in refugees.
"We know that refugees are not a threat. We know that refugees help grow our communities across New York state. But especially the struggling upstate cities. One of our largest problems has been lack of population growth. And who's been delivering the population growth into our communities? The refugees have been delivering that," Ryan said.
A Buffalo Democrat, Ryan says, refugees are helping to fill vacant homes across upstate and strengthening the economy. Out of the 5,000 refugees who settled in New York last year, he says, 94 percent located upstate.