Hochul Supports Suspension of “Right to Shelter” Law Amid NY’s Escalating Migrant Crisis
Edited by: TJVNews.com
New York City has long been known as a beacon of hope for those seeking refuge and opportunities in the United States. However, as the relentless influx of migrants continues to strain the city’s resources, Governor Kathy Hochul has thrown her support behind suspending the city’s decades-old “right to shelter” law, as was reported on Thursday in the New York Post. This move aligns with Mayor Eric Adams’ efforts to address the escalating migrant crisis that has left the Big Apple struggling to accommodate a growing population of asylum seekers, the report added.
The “right to shelter” law, which mandates that the city provide a bed for anyone who requests one, has been in place for decades. However, the Post reported that the administration of New York City Mayor Eric Adams is currently challenging this mandate in the state Supreme Court. They argue that, due to the overwhelming arrival of more than 110,000 asylum seekers since spring 2022, the city’s resources have reached their breaking point, the Post report added. They contend that turning some people away is a necessity.
Legal Aid has opposed the suspension of the law, arguing that it would result in more people sleeping on the streets of New York City. As was noted in the Post report, the legal battle over this issue has created a contentious and complex situation, as the city grapples with its moral and legal obligations to provide shelter while also acknowledging its limitations.
Governor Hochul has thrown her weight behind Mayor Adams’ push to suspend the “right to shelter” law, citing that the law was never intended to “house literally the entire world,” as was reported by the Post. In a recent CNN interview, she voiced her support for rescinding the court-ordered mandate, explaining that the original premise of the law was to provide shelter primarily to homeless men on the streets and people experiencing AIDS, later extending to families, as was indicated in the Post report. It was never envisioned as an unlimited universal right or obligation to house everyone, she emphasized.
“That is the right thing to do,” Hochul said of rescinding the court-ordered mandate that requires the city to provide a bed for anyone who requests one, the Post reported.
“The original premise behind the right to shelter was, for starters, for homeless men on the streets, people experiencing Aids that was then extended to families,” she said. “But never was it envisioned being an unlimited universal right, or obligation on the city, to house literally the entire world.”
Hochul’s stance aligns with Mayor Adams’ efforts to address the crisis, which has massively strained the city’s resources and infrastructure. The Post report suggested that the enormous influx of migrants, coupled with the challenges of accommodating them, has forced New York to reconsider its approach to housing and supporting those seeking refuge.
As the legal battle over the “right to shelter” mandate unfolds, Governor Hochul has appealed to newly arrived migrants to consider settling in other places. Hochul told NY1 that the Biden administration’s decision to grant expedited work permits to Venezuelan asylum seekers who entered the U.S. before July 31 was seen as an important first step in addressing the migrant crisis, the report added. Hochul acknowledged the city’s limited capacity, with over 125,000 people and 60,000 in shelters, and stressed that other cities in less capacity-strained states may be better suited to accommodate these mostly South American immigrants.
“We have to let people know that if you’re thinking of coming to New York, we are truly out of space,” she said, as was reported by the Post.
“The mayor has done an extraordinary job managing this crisis situation. We have been partners in helping him, but there must be other cities that do not have upwards of 125,000 people, over 60,000 in shelters, that can handle the volume easier in other states,” Hochul added.
Hochul’s message is clear: New York is grappling with an unprecedented influx of migrants, and alternative solutions must be considered. The Post also reported that this appeal reflects the state’s commitment to managing the crisis while recognizing its limitations.
One significant development in addressing the migrant crisis is the extension and expansion of temporary protected status for Venezuelans. Governor Hochul had been advocating for this status for over a year, and the recent decision allows thousands of Venezuelans to receive expedited work permits, the Post report added. This would allow them to work within 30 days instead of the previous 180-day waiting period and it also means that working migrants can transition to independent living more swiftly and reduce their reliance on the city’s shelter system.
Following the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement, Governor Hochul unveiled a major initiative to allocate state resources and personnel to help eligible migrants file for work authorization and connect with potential employers, the Post report said. Over 70 staff members from 16 different state agencies will be assigned to this effort, in addition to 50 DHS employees committed to processing migrants’ work authorization applications.
This coordinated effort aims to expedite the transition of migrants from shelters to the workforce, allowing them to become self-sufficient and contribute to the state’s economy. It is seen as a critical step in addressing the challenges posed by the migrant crisis while upholding humanitarian principles, as was suggested in the report.
Meanwhile, The Epoch Times reported on Wednesday that police made 10 arrests after fed-up Staten Island residents took to the street Tuesday night and physically blocked the arrival of a bus carrying dozens of illegal immigrants to a residential school that had recently been converted into a shelter.
“The police are arresting law-abiding American citizens to protect law-breaking non-citizens,” Mark Fonte, a lawyer who has filed a lawsuit on behalf of residents of Staten Island trying to stop the city from relocating illegal immigrants to the borough, told The Epoch Times. “The mayor is using his emergency powers to place these unvetted immigrants in residential communities against the will of the people, and the people are angry.”
“The residents are trying to send a message to the migrants that they are not welcome here,” added . Fonte.
Several dozen protesters were captured on video halting traffic after intercepting the bus, which was headed to the former Island Shores senior assisted living facility. Police say ten people were taken into custody, with nine being issued summonses for disorderly conduct and a 48-year-old man was charged for allegedly assaulting an officer. There were no reports of injuries.
Residents have taken to the streets over concerns that the recent influx of illegal immigrants into the borough is changing the nature of the neighborhood, and because many are unvetted, they would further contribute to already high crime rates, according to Fonte.
“The residents are frustrated that they are being totally ignored. There is no community input in the decision-making, or consultation with community leaders,” said Fonte. “It’s my way or the highway with the Mayor.”