Mayor Limits NYC Shelter Stays To 30 Days For Adult Migrants

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is further tightening shelter rules by limiting adult migrants to just 30 days in city-run facilities — to help ease pressures on the city’s already struggling shelter system and perhaps dissuade more migrants from coming. Many are uneasy with the policy that could send thousands of people into the streets, many with nowhere to sleep and nowhere to work. Siding aside the morality and unintended consequences, it is unclear whether limiting migrants to thirty-day stays at the city’s homeless shelters will even achieve its intended goal of discouraging immigrants crossing the southern border from coming to New York.

This comes after all the controversies that came to light this week about no-bid contracts to companies providing services to the new migrants arriving in the city and the Mayor renewing the contract of a controversial company whose CEO just resigned after being caught in several lies and stories came out about him funneling tax money to a hotel owned by his brother. The Mayor elected to renew their contract at what many are saying is an outrageously inflated price, despite the comptroller of the city coming out against it.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul wants to end ‘right to shelter’ law that has existed since 1980 amid the migrant crisis. Until recently, Hochul interpreted the right to shelter law as requiring the city to provide shelter to any person who was physically present within the confines of the city the minute they seek it. Mayor Eric Adams also shared that opinion at one point, though he changed his opinion once he couldn’t get any federal funding for said housing, which was months before the Governor. Now he is pounding the drum about the need to stop providing shelter to migrants in New York. The Governor seems to have changed her tune now.

Hochul first came out in August saying that the State could not force cities in upstate New York to house the 60,000 immigrants that had moved to the state. Adams and Hochul were publically debating the issue for several months through public statements and letters but it looks like now both the Governor and Mayor are in agreement that New York is unable to handle the influx of South and Central American immigrants that came to the area during 2023 and they certainly can’t handle anymore.

The original premise behind the right to shelter was, for starters, for homeless men on the streets, it was later extended to families. But never was it envisioned being an unlimited universal right, or obligation on the city, to house literally the entire world.

New York Governor Hochul talking about the Right to Shelter law in NYC

This is concerning not only because of the number of people who are relying on the State and City of New York for shelter and food, but because most don’t see the stream of migrants to New York stopping anytime soon.

Further, papers in NYC and people on X have been vocal about how the recent influx of migrants to the city have been worrying workers in an uncertain economic climate with a very competitive labor market. Long-standing immigrant New Yorkers who have are getting pushed out of their jobs by new arrivals who will work for less since they lack employment authorization and cannot legally accept employment in the United States. Stories of veterans being kicked out of shelters to make way for migrants have also sparked a lot of backlash, though it’s not clear whether this is true.

The New York Post has been flooding Twitter and their paper with stories about crime by migrant shelters and “illegal immigrants earning thousands while living for free in shelters.” These stories seem to based entirely on hearsay and are at best anecdotal if not totally fabricated. What is troubling is how quickly and loudly the tone of the conversation has changed in the past two months. We saw during COVID how easy it is for fake news and fear can fan flames of xenophobia, hate, and sometimes even violence, when there were several incidents of Asian New Yorkers being victimized after stories about lab leaks in China.

Let’s hope things calm down and people don’t go down that path. This is New York–it’s difficult to imagine New Yorkers turning against immigrants–immigrants do make up the majority of the city.

One response to “Mayor Limits NYC Shelter Stays To 30 Days For Adult Migrants”

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