New York City’s recent stringent approach to implementing stay limits on migrants seems effective, as data reveals that only 20% are returning to the city’s shelters after their designated time expires.
Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has imposed a 60-day limit on shelter stays for migrant families with children and a 30-day limit for single adults due to an overstressed shelter system.
According to the latest figures from City Hall, of the approximately 4,800 migrants who received notices to vacate, only about 980 have sought re-entry into the municipal shelter system.
So far, the city administration has issued 60-day notices to about 13,500 asylum seekers and 30-day notices to over 6,500 individuals.
The newly released data indicates that this approach is successful, as most migrants have found alternative accommodations or accepted assistance to reach their final destinations, including bus and plane tickets provided by the city.
City Hall spokeswoman Kayla Mamelak emphasized the success of this strategy, stating, “So far, we are seeing that the majority of asylum seekers that received 60/30-day notices have been able to secure alternative housing and take us up on the offer to help them reach their final, desired, destinations.”
Mamelak highlighted the reduced rate of migrants returning to shelters as proof that the policy of limiting stays and providing “enhanced casework services” — is working.
However, City Council minority leader Joe Borelli critiqued the migrants, suggesting that the data proves many were seeking free benefits and had the resourcefulness to find solutions when required.
Borelli stated, “This proves that it’s always been just about getting free goodies when 80% of people can figure out their own situation when forced.”
He added, “These are folks who have been very resourceful in getting to New York in the first place and the idea that they would arrive here and suddenly become helpless was bizarre from the get-go.”
Since September, the city has been issuing notices to single adult migrants in temporary shelters spread throughout the five boroughs, aiming to manage the continuous surge of asylum seekers arriving.
The Legal Aid Society and other housing and immigrant rights advocates have criticized the restriction of shelter stays as cruel and lacking foresight. However, Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom has defended the policies, citing their necessity in light of a record influx of 4,000 migrants arriving in the city each week.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Williams-Isom stated, “This is why the 60-day and 30-day notices are so important. Because that’s the only way I’m going to be able to make space in the system for people who come through the front door.”
To re-enter the system, migrants who reach their deadlines must reapply at the city’s main intake center, the Roosevelt Hotel shelter.
New York City’s shelter system currently accommodates over 65,000 asylum seekers housed in more than 200 shelter locations throughout the city.