As its shelter system fills to capacity, New York City is stepping up efforts to transport migrants out of the city and has established a dedicated office to provide asylum applicants with free, one-way tickets to anywhere in the world.
As part of its most recent effort to relieve the strain on its shelters and finances brought on by the entrance of more than 130,000 asylum seekers since last year, City Hall acknowledged the opening of a new “reticketing center” in Manhattan.
Democratic mayor Eric Adams has called the situation a crisis and has started to issue warnings that, as winter comes, migrants will soon be compelled to live on the streets due to shelter overcrowding.
I can’t emphasize this enough. This week, he told reporters, “You know, we’re out of the room. And the question is not ‘whether’ but rather ‘when’ people will be sleeping on the streets.
We have reached our capacity. The city’s proposal to provide transportation for migrants draws on earlier initiatives to transfer asylum seekers elsewhere, although the opening of the specialized reticketing center signals a renewed focus on the policy.
The voluntary nature of the trip offer has been emphasized by the city. In recent months, the mayor’s office has restricted adult migrants to 30 days in city shelters and migrant families with children to 60 days. If a migrant can’t locate a new place to live, they can reapply for housing. Most migrants arrive without the legal right to work.
About 20,000 customers, according to an Adams spokesman, have gotten 30- or 60-day notifications. She said that fewer than 20% of those who have exceeded the limitations still reside in city shelters.
According to representatives from City Hall, these data demonstrate how government policies are encouraging migrants to locate alternative lodgings.
Adams is also attempting to have a special legal arrangement that mandates New York City to give homeless people emergency housing suspended.
The mayor’s administration has argued in court that the rule was never intended to apply to an influx of migrants, and no other significant U.S. city has such a requirement.
This month, a judge ordered the city to start mediation talks with organizations that support the homeless in order to come up with a solution.
The mayor’s administration said that it had hurriedly built more than 200 large-scale facilities and rented space in hotels to host refugees. The number of migrants in city shelters is over 65,000.
According to Adams, the influx will cost roughly $12 billion over the following three years.