NEW YORK - With a surge of migrants being bused to New York City by Texas officials, Mayor Eric Adams says the shelter system is nearing its breaking point.
He says more than 11,000 migrants have arrived since May. By law, the city is required to provide a shelter bed to anyone who asks for one. That has the city scrambling to find places to house the migrants.
The population of the shelter system has grown nearly 10% in the past month. Officials have had to resort to paying for pricey Manhattan hotels.
In a statement on Wednesday the mayor stated: "In this new and unforeseen reality, where we expect thousands more to arrive every week going forward, the city’s system is nearing its breaking point. As a result, the city’s prior practices, which never contemplated the bussing of thousands of people into New York City, must be reassessed."
He made the statement after 60 men who arrived Monday night were not provided any shelter. They were forced to spend the night seated in a city office.
The Legal Aid Society, which fights for the rights of homeless people in the city, reacted to the situation with a statement: "While we understand and appreciate the demands that the City faces, the law is clear: Anyone in need of shelter, including asylum seekers, is entitled to such in New York City. This principle has been settled for decades, and is not subject to unilateral tinkering by a new administration."
There were questions about whether the mayor suggested an end to the right to shelter in the city and several politicians reacted negatively to any suggestion of ending it.
Congressman Ritchie Torres tweeted: "But for the right to shelter, NYC would have the same level of street homelessness as California, where homeless encampments are ubiquitous."
But Fabien Levy, the mayor's press secretary, said later that the administration was not disputing the right to shelter law in New York City.
"We will continue to work every day with those who want to partner on this vital work to provide these individuals with the shelter and services they so desperately need," the mayor stated.
On Wednesday's Good Day New York, the New York City Commissioner of Immigration Affairs said that the city was helping migrants who were bused to New York City get to other cities. Manuel Castro says that a lot of the migrants are from Venezuela and want to go to Florida which has a large population from the troubled South American country.
Adams was touring the city's Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center in Manhattan on Thursday morning.