Mayor Eric Adams triggered a ruckus on Wednesday by saying that asylum-seekers usually are not entitled to the identical protections that mandate town to present shelter to homeless individuals who want it.
The mayor’s comment, which drew rapid backlash from homeless advocates, immigration teams and elected officers, got here throughout an look on WABC’s “Sid & Friends” morning present. His remark comes at a time when his administration is struggling to home tens of 1000’s of migrants despatched to New York Metropolis from states bordering Mexico.
“We don’t believe asylum-seekers fall into the whole right-to-shelter conversation,” Adams mentioned. “This is a crisis that must be addressed based on what was created on this national platform.”
The mayor’s pushback towards the city’s decades-old right-to-shelter regulation was met with condemnation from immigration teams.
The New York Immigration Coalition mentioned in a tweet that Adams’ “job is to follow our laws including our right-to-shelter law.”
“It’s not up to him to decide who can be excluded based on how they got here. Seems like his latest tactic to avoid fixing our shelter system— a crisis hurting too many NY families,” the group added.
The Coalition for the Homeless and the Authorized Support Society, which had sued town and gained a number of authorized victories that ensured the precise to shelter for all homeless individuals within the metropolis, mentioned anybody in want of shelter is entitled to obtain it, together with asylum-seekers.
“Flouting the law would accomplish nothing and such a move would only land this administration in front of a judge for contempt,” the teams mentioned in a joint assertion. “The mayor must clarify his remarks from this morning immediately.”
In September, Adams known as on town to “reassess” its practices with regard to the precise to shelter, elevating alarm that his administration would undo or weaken the court docket ruling and its subsequent consent decree, which mandates that town present a mattress in a shelter to anybody who seeks it and units minimal requirements for homeless shelters.
On the time, the mayor mentioned the city’s shelter system was “nearing its breaking point.”
Greater than 70,000 individuals have been staying within the metropolis’s shelter system as of Monday, in accordance to the Division of Homeless Providers’ day by day depend. The document variety of homeless individuals residing in shelters managed by the city’s Division of Social Providers doesn’t embrace greater than 40,000 just lately arrived migrants who’ve utilized for shelter.
On Saturday, Adams introduced that his administration is briefly utilizing a cruise ship terminal in Pink Hook, Brooklyn to home up to 1,000 asylum-seekers, specifically single males, till the springtime.
Councilmember Diana Ayala, chair of the Normal Welfare Committee, mentioned this isn’t a accountability that the mayor or town can dodge.
“Instead of a continued focus on how to avoid our legal obligation, the admin should consider my proposal to expand CityFHEPS to better serve the needs of our shelter population,” Ayala mentioned in a tweet, referring to the city’s rental help voucher program. “Together, we need to find policies that expedite the transition from shelter to permanent housing.”