New York City will ask some migrants to leave the shelter system

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With hundreds of migrants arriving every day, New York City will begin giving adult asylum seekers using the municipal shelter system a notice to find another place to live within 60 days, the government announced. Wednesday Mayor Eric Adams.

The new policy is intended to make room for migrant families with children, Adams said. Social workers will help migrants find accommodation and other services, the mayor said, and those who cannot find alternative accommodation within 60 days will have to return to the processing center and reapply for a new stay.

"We must take additional steps to create the space urgently needed by families with children who continue to arrive seeking asylum and help those with us take the next steps on their journey," Adams said at a news conference at the City hall. "Our goal is that no child, no family, sleeps on the street."

Adams has moved quickly to accommodate the tens of thousands of migrants who have poured into the city in the past year, calling for more help from the state and federal governments.

The city has rented out entire hotels for the migrants and has also placed cots in schools and temporarily housed people in tents, a cruise ship terminal and a former police academy building.

Adams noted that there are currently more than 54,800 migrants in the city's care, with 300 to 500 more arriving daily. “This cannot continue,” Adams said. "It's not sustainable and we're not going to pretend it is."

Under the new policy, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Willams-Isom said adult asylum seekers who have spent significant time in the city's shelter system will receive the 60-day notice.

“As we continue to deal with this humanitarian crisis, we must come up with innovative ways to move people within and through our system to find where they will settle for good,” Williams-Isom said.

But some activists say the new plan will create bureaucratic obstacles for vulnerable migrants and would violate a 1981 court order requiring the city to provide temporary housing to any homeless person who requests it.

“This is bad policy that will be directly responsible for leaving families homeless and living on the streets,” Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said in a statement. "The new rule is an abhorrent violation of our right to refuge laws, and does not reflect New York City's welcoming values."

Adams said he would not be deterred by potential court challenges to the new policy.

“The judicial system will do what it has to do,” he said.

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