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Migrant crisis worsens in New York City

Dozens of migrants are sleeping on pieces of cardboard outdoors in hopes of getting a bed in the city’s shelter system.
Migrant crisis worsens in New York City
Posted at 7:32 AM, Aug 03, 2023

New York City can't handle more migrants — with 300 to 500 people arriving every day, according to Mayor Eric Adams.

He said the city is in desperate need of the federal government’s help as newly arrived migrants are now sleeping shoulder-to-shoulder on the streets of Midtown Manhattan, outside the Roosevelt Hotel, which ceased commercial operations in 2020 and is now an intake center for the homeless.

Dozens of migrants are sleeping on pieces of cardboard in hopes of getting a bed in the city’s shelter system, but many shelters are at capacity.

Advocates say the long lines are a ploy by city officials to pressure state and federal lawmakers for more money and discourage additional migrants from coming.

Adams issued a call for help, saying the crisis "is not going to get any better."

A spokesperson for his office said resources are dwindling.

SEE MORE: DOJ appeals after federal judge orders end to Biden's migrant policy

"I don't think I, or any person in this administration, would use people to do any type of a stunt," NYC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom said. "Every week I come here, and I talk about 'systems at its breaking point. Things are not looking good. We need some support.' And now New Yorkers are seeing what that means and what that looks like. It's heartbreaking."

The city has already spent more than $1.2 billion on housing migrants this year alone and is on pace to spend more than $4 billion by next summer.

According to data obtained by the Washington Post from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in July, Border Patrol arrested more than 130,000 individuals trying to cross into the U.S. illegally. That number is up from 99,045 in June. 

The same report was found in Arizona, Border Patrol in the Tuscon sector alone reported they made about 40,000 arrests in July, the highest one-month total for the area in 15 years.

In New York City, more than 90,000 asylum seekers have arrived since last spring, and over 54,800 of them are now in the city’s care.

The area outside the Roosevelt Hotel is cleared out now.  But the New York City mayor’s office told Scripps News it fears the same scene could repeat itself, as hundreds of migrants continue to arrive in the city.

The city is even considering iconic Central Park to set tents up and house newly arrived migrants.

"Central Park is one of the sites under review and I don't think anyone wants it to come to that. First because you don't want migrants living in tents. Secondly because especially Central Park is so heavily used thousands of people a day that it would, it would impact recreation space," said Mark Levine, the Manhattan borough president. 

The deputy mayor, Anne Williams-Isom, insists the city is out of options.

"People on the one hand cannot accuse us of not having enough space, of telling us not to go to certain places and then on the other hand tell us, 'well you can’t go here you can’t go there.' We are making the best decisions that we can, given the information that we get," said Williams-Isom.

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