October 7, 2022
WHEREAS, over the past several months, thousands of asylum seekers have been arriving in New York City, from the Southern border, without having any immediate plans for shelter; and
WHEREAS, as of October 5, 2022, the asylum seekers who have entered the City’s shelter system operated by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS Shelter System”) include approximately 17,429 individuals, comprised of 2,896 families with children; 6,014 adults; and 734 adult families; and
WHEREAS, to date, the City has opened 42 DHS shelters in response to this influx of asylum seekers;
WHEREAS, the state of Texas, and the city of El Paso, have pledged to continue sending asylum seekers on buses to New York City, and
WHEREAS, Texas has not provided notice to New York City, and has indicated that it will continue not providing notice to New York City, regarding how many busloads of people will be arriving, or the dates and times of their arrival; and
WHEREAS, many of the buses arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal unannounced and unscheduled, in the early morning or late night hours; and
WHEREAS, many of the asylum seekers are coping with the effects of trauma and exhaustion, as well as other physical and mental health concerns; and
WHEREAS, the stress on the asylum seekers has been compounded by the additional days of travel to New York City, during which time it has been reported that many have been afforded limited food and water, and limited opportunities to leave the bus; and
WHEREAS, the DHS Shelter System is nearing its highest ever recorded population of over 61,000 individuals and is not designed to serve the influx of asylum seekers arriving to New York City from the Southern border;
WHEREAS, the City now faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that requires it to take extraordinary measures to meet the immediate needs of the asylum seekers while continuing to serve the tens of thousands of people who are currently using the DHS Shelter System; and
WHEREAS, the City has requested financial and other assistance from the federal and state governments; and
WHEREAS, the Governor has agreed to deploy National Guard troops to the City to assist in responding to this humanitarian crisis; and
WHEREAS, if asylum seekers continue to enter the City at the current rate, the total population within the DHS Shelter System will exceed 100,000 individuals next year;
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the laws of the State of New York and the City of New York, including but not limited to the New York Executive Law, the New York City Charter and the Administrative Code of the City of New York, and the common law authority to protect the public in the event of an emergency:
Section 1. State of Emergency. A state of emergency is hereby declared to exist within the City of New York based on the arrival of thousands of individuals and families seeking asylum.
§2. Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers.
a. I hereby direct New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) to coordinate with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (H+H), the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, also known as the Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI), the Department of Design and Construction (DDC), the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and other agencies as appropriate, to establish and operate temporary humanitarian relief centers to be known as “Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers” (“HERRCs”) that will provide assistance for arriving asylum seekers, helping them by immediately offering respite, food, medical care, case work services, and assistance in accessing a range of settlement options, including through connections to family and friends inside and outside of New York City, in addition to, if needed, direct referrals to alternative emergency supports.
b. I hereby authorize the Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services to enter into a memorandum of understanding with H+H concerning the establishment and operation of the HERRCs, which shall, among other things, provide for the establishment of policies and procedures for the operation of the HERRCs, provide for the confidentiality of information collected from the persons served in the HERRCs, and provide restrictions on disclosure of information about an individual’s immigration status consistent with the policies set forth in Executive Order 34 (dated May 13, 2003) and Executive Order 41 (dated September 17, 2003).
§ 3. Cooperation of all agencies.
I hereby direct all agency heads, including but not limited to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the New York City Emergency Management, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the Fire Department, the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office, the Chief Privacy Officer, and the Departments of Buildings, Housing Preservation and Development, Sanitation, Social Services, Homeless Services, Environmental Protection, and Parks and Recreation, to take all appropriate and necessary steps to preserve health and public safety during this humanitarian crisis.
§ 4. Suspension of laws and rules.
a. I hereby direct that the following laws and rules related to the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, and other procedures applicable to the City planning and land use review processes, to the extent they would apply to the siting, construction and operations of the HERRCs, impose limitations on the amount of time permitted for the holding of public hearings, the certification of applications, the submission of recommendations, any required or necessary voting, the taking of final actions, and the issuance of determinations, are suspended, and that any such time limitations are tolled for the duration of the State of Emergency: sections 195, 197-d, 203 , and 3020 and subdivisions (b) through (h) of section 197-c of the Charter, sections 25-303, 25-306, 25-308, 25-309, 25-310 and 25-313 of the Administrative Code, and sections 1-05.5 and 1-07.5 of Title 2 and sections 2-02 through 2-07 of Title 62 of the Rules of the City of New York.
b. I hereby direct that section 14-140 of the Administrative Code and section 12-10 of Title 38 of the Rules of the City of New York are suspended, to the extent they impact the disposition of personal property at the HERRCs.
§ 5. Effective date. The State of Emergency declared in section 1 of this Order shall remain in effect for 30 days and may be extended. The remaining provisions of this Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect for five (5) days unless they are terminated or modified at an earlier date.