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Recent Surge in Asylum Seekers Could “Destroy” New York City

Since April 2022, New York City has seen a significant surge in migrants seeking asylum. Mayor Eric Adams said this “problem” could “destroy” the city. 

The main reason migrants, coming mostly through the American-Mexican border from other Latin-American countries, seek asylum in New York is due to the state’s “right to shelter” policy, which grants shelter to anyone seeking refuge in New York. While many migrants have arrived voluntarily, others have been bused from the border by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in an effort to transfer the responsibility of dealing with migrant crossings onto Democrat-controlled states. 

In recent months, more than 120,000 asylum-seekers have entered the city, causing shelters to have little room and resources. In response, the city has begun converting empty hotels and schools into makeshift shelters. Mayor Adams has publicly called for Governor Kathy Hochul and the Biden Administration to offer support, claiming that the surge will cost the city $12 billion over the next three years, an amount Adams says could come from New York taxes if proper governmental support is not given. 

The city has started working towards a longer-term solution to tackle the migrant housing crisis. In mid-October, Mayor Adams announced a 30-day limit on shelter stays for adult men shortly after announcing a 60-day limit for families with children. After being told to leave the shelter, the families are provided with help from the state to find a new home. This new policy led to an outcry from migrants in shelters, with many worried that they will not have a place to sleep in the winter. In one protest, dozens of migrants and community members camped outside Gracie Mansion to protest the policy. 

In another effort to create more space in the city’s shelters, Mayor Adams has announced that the city is offering transportation to all migrants who wish to relocate. The offer for transportation is purely voluntary and migrants are not obligated to come to a “reticketing center.”

The situation is dire, as over 60,000 migrants currently take up space in New York shelters. If the city doesn’t receive the aid it needs, both incoming migrants and New York locals will pay the price. 

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