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Mayor Eric Adams suspends NYC’s right to shelter rules for asylum seekers

By ZINNIA MALDONADO

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    NEW YORK (WCBS) — New York City is making a major change in the way it helps asylum seekers.

Wednesday night, Mayor Eric Adams signed an emergency executive order suspending the city’s right-to-shelter rules that immediately find private rooms for asylum seekers.

A spokesperson released the following statement:

“New York City has cared for more than 61,000 migrants over the last year — sheltering, feeding, and caring for them almost entirely on our own. In recent days, we’ve seen upwards of 500 people arrive each day, and we expect those numbers to grow significantly as Title 42 lifts tomorrow. No asylum seeking-family that has sought shelter from us over the last year has slept on the street thanks to our colossal efforts, but without more support from our federal and state partners, we are concerned the worst may be yet to come. With over 130 emergency sites and eight humanitarian relief centers already opened, we have reached our limit, and this last week we had to resort to temporarily housing recent arrivals in gyms. In an effort to mitigate those risks and find room within our shelter system, the city has temporarily suspended the policy surrounding timing for placements in shelters. This is not a decision taken lightly and we will make every effort to get asylum seekers into shelter as quickly as possible as we have done since day one.”

The city expects to see an influx of asylum seekers as the COVID-era Title 42 ends Thursday night.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is now stepping in.

“I am working very closely with the mayor to identify more sites where we can welcome these individuals,” she said Wednesday. “They’re human beings, they deserve to be treated with dignity, but also we’re going to have a capacity issue, so we’re going to be needing to look at other places as well.”

Ten thousand asylum seekers were processed Wednesday along the southern border, including Jhonathan Gomez, of Venezuela. He trekked across six countries and shared video of the dangerous journey.

“We had to cross rivers filled with snakes and crocodiles,” he said in Spanish.

Texas National Guard troops in riot gear arrived Wednesday in the border town of Brownsville — ordered by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has criticized the Biden administration’s response and bused thousands of asylum seekers to New York.

The city has already filled 120 shelters and continues to search for more housing.

“We should not be after a year and a half later thinking about, ‘Where do we have locations that we can house asylum seekers?’ When we knew that this city is a sanctuary city and we would be continuing to welcome asylum seekers, especially in the wake of Title 42 ending,” said Councilmember Shahana Hanif, who chairs the Committee on Immigration.

A number of immigration advocates and elected officials plan to hold a rally Thursday afternoon at City Hall.

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