Mayor Eric Adams announced on Wednesday, July 19th, that due to a capacity crisis, single adult migrants staying in city shelters will be given 60-day notices to vacate.
This decision comes as the city continues to grapple with a large influx of asylum seekers. Officials will notify migrants in the city’s care about the new policy in the coming days.
This restriction, however, will not apply to migrant families that include children.
Mayor Adams said, “I have taken extraordinary measures to shelter and care for asylum seekers. We must now take additional steps to create urgently needed space for families with children who continue to arrive.”
Should migrants be unable to secure alternate housing within the stipulated 60-day period, they will need to reapply for new placement at the city’s asylum seeker arrival center.
Adams stressed that this move does not intend to evict migrants from shelters; rather, each migrant will be assisted to explore their options and plan their next steps.
Adams said, “With more than 54,800 asylum seekers still currently in our care, this effort will intensify adult asylum seekers’ casework services over the next two months to help them take the next step on their journey and ensure we have a bed to place children and families at night.”
This decision came in the wake of approximately 2,800 new migrants arriving in the city last week, adding to over 90,000 that have arrived since April last year. With more than 54,800 asylum seekers housed in the city’s 188 emergency shelters, Mayor Adams highlighted the need to manage the relentless influx and called it a difficult but necessary choice.
The new limit was announced on the same day city lawyers were preparing to present a case to a Manhattan Supreme Court judge, arguing for suspending the decades-old “right to shelter” mandate in the face of the ongoing migrant crisis.
Despite opposition from groups like Legal Aid and the Coalition for the Homeless, the city stands firm on the need to revise the mandate in light of the pressures placed on the city’s resources by the surge in migrants.
Adams has persistently sought further support from the federal government, but these calls have largely been ignored. Although Senator Charles Schumer has secured $105 million for the city, other requests, such as work authorizations for the migrants, have been denied by President Joseph Biden.
Commissioner Manuel Castro from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs also highlighted the lack of a comprehensive federal strategy to address the ongoing migrant crisis.
Castro said, “From the start, we have called on the federal government to develop a fair decompression strategy to ensure asylum seekers find the support they need across the country and not just rely on any one city. Unfortunately, this has not happened. As we move forward, we continue to call on the federal government to do more.”
In response to the growing number of migrants, officials plan to distribute flyers nationwide, discouraging migration to the city due to the lack of guaranteed shelter and the high cost of living.