NYC migrant crisis: Mayor urges court for clarity on 'right to shelter law'
NEW YORK CITY - Mayor Eric Adams is speaking out after the city began court proceedings to suspend New York City's "right to shelter law".
"The message has been clear," Adams said. "New York has done its share, and we want to go in court and have clarity. That's what we are asking for."
In a letter to a judge, the city is asking to weaken a more than 40-year-old court ruling that mandates New York City provide shelter to anyone who requests it.
The city is citing the overwhelming influx of migrants. The Big Apple has welcomed over 70,000 asylum seekers since last year and can't keep up with the surge.
"No mayor in the history of New York had to deal with the number of people in our shelter system like me," Adams said.
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Many advocates and city council members are firing back against the mayor’s action, saying "right to shelter law" is what has kept homeless New Yorkers off the streets.
"I'm shaken up by the announcement about rolling back all of the efforts that many people here have made to get us to where we are today," council member Jennifer Gutierrez said. "The right to shelter is a simple language that says we no one should have to be in the streets. We are raising the bar of what it means to be housed and be a compassionate city."
The city has tried to transfer asylum seekers to neighboring counties to help cope with the influx, but the move was met with intense pushback.
Local officials in Suffolk County were pursuing legal action to halt a so-called plan to house asylum seekers in hotels there.
The mayor’s office has not confirmed those plans.