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As Asylum Seekers in City's Care Tops 54,800, Mayor Adams Announces new Policy to Help Asylum Seekers Move From Shelter

July 19, 2023

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NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced additional policies to help asylum seekers in the city’s care move out of shelter and create critically needed space for arriving families with children seeking asylum. The city has made every effort to continue serving the more than 90,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in New York City since last spring, but with an average of 300-500 people still arriving each day, and more than 54,800 migrants still in the city’s care, New York City is at capacity, having responded in the absence of state or federal action. In the coming days, the city will begin providing 60 days’ notice to adult asylum seekers to find alternative housing paired with intensified casework services to help adult asylum seekers explore other housing options and take the next step in their journey. Each asylum seeker given notice will have multiple touchpoints with case workers over their 60 days to discuss their options and plan their next steps. The city also announced new flyers to combat misinformation at the border and inform asylum seekers that the city cannot continue to support the level of service it has been providing.

“New York City has done more than any other level of government to address this national crisis, providing shelter, food, services, and much more to more than 90,000 asylum seekers since last spring,” said Mayor Adams. “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. For more than a year now, New York City has responded to this crisis alone — we need our state and federal partners to step up.”

“As we continue to tackle this humanitarian crisis, we must devise novel ways of moving people within and through our system to find where they will ultimately settle,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “This policy will allow greater flexibility in assisting asylum seekers finding where they may settle here in the city or with loved ones and friends. The city is and will continue to help individuals and families find shelter and connect with services at their initial connection point with us. We must then work together with partners at all levels of government to find options for where people will settle in order to continue relieving the pressure on New York City.”

“As New York City continues to rise to the challenge of this humanitarian crisis, NYC Health + Hospitals will continue to do everything we can to help asylum seekers seeking a better life for themselves and their families, but we still need help from state and federal partners,” said Ted Long, MD, MHS, senior vice president, Ambulatory Care and Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals. “I am proud to be a part of the Adams administration that has provided life-changing support to many tens of thousands of asylum seekers.”

“During this humanitarian crisis, New York City has stepped up in a way that no other locality in the country has in support of asylum seekers,” said Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Manuel Castro. “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. We also call on the federal government to use all their powers to expedite work permits for asylum seekers, including establishing and redesignating Temporary Protection Status for those who arrived in the last year.”

This effort will begin in the coming weeks, starting with asylum seekers who have been in the city’s care for a significant amount of time. Asylum seekers will receive their notice of 60 days and intensified casework services on a rolling basis. Adult asylum seekers who do not find alternative housing by the time their 60 days are complete will be required to reapply for a new placement at the arrival center. With the number of families with children in the city’s care continuing to increase, this policy will also create critically needed space for all families with children in need of shelter.

Since this humanitarian crisis began, the city has taken fast and urgent action, opening more than 185 emergency shelters, including 13 other large-scale humanitarian relief centers already; standing up navigation centers to connect asylum seekers with critical resources; enrolling thousands of children in public schools through Project Open Arms; announcing the launch of the Asylum Application Help Center to help migrants with their asylum applications; and more. Earlier this spring, the city released “The Road Forward: A Blueprint to Address New York City's Response to the Asylum Seeker Crisis,” detailing how the city will continue to manage the influx of asylum seekers and advocate for support from federal and state partners.


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