NEW YORK - Migrant shelters in New York City are at full capacity, with the situation becoming so dire that Mayor Eric Adams has warned that it's a matter of time until migrants end up sleeping on the streets.
Among the asylum seekers is a single mother of four, who spoke to FOX 5 NY about her journey to the city and current troubles.
Like many who make the illegal journey into the United States, she is more comfortable living in the shadows because of her immigration status. But like every mother, she wants the best for her children, and that was her motivation to leave her home country.
The woman said they escaped a nation in South America where people contend with poverty, potential oppression, and other dangers. She is one of the more than 100,000 migrants who have come to New York City seeking refuge since Spring 2022.
City officials say they are dealing with an overflow that has become a humanitarian crisis, and as a result, they are imposing restrictions like limits for migrants on shelter stays. Initially, the limit was 60 days, but as the crisis progressed, it became 30 days for singles and 60 days for families.
"The worry is we have to leave the hotel," the mother said.
The mother said she is worried sick about the future for her and her children. Under federal law, asylum seekers can’t work for six months after filing their paperwork.
"I can’t work, I can’t do anything for the four children. It’s complicated," she said.
Despite these issues, countless migrants are still willing to risk their lives in pursuit of the American dream. The mother told FOX 5 NY that she paid a human smuggler and crossed through several countries with her kids including Columbia, Panama, and Ecuador. They eventually crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.
"We saw many dead people," she said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has long documented the dangers of the illegal journey into the United States but still, migrants continue to pour across the border and make their way to New York City, which has long been a designated sanctuary city.
Now that the city is enforcing limits on shelter stays the future is uncertain for many.
"I don’t want to be on the street with the children," the mother told FOX 5 NY. She said she recently received notice that her days in the shelter are numbered.
The city says families with nowhere to go can resubmit for assistance, but officials keep saying resources are at capacity.