New York City Is Kicking Out Migrant Families Living in DHS Shelters To Make Room for Expected Immigration Summer Surge

By: Alex Trent | Published: May 06, 2024

Reports say that New York City is making plans to start removing migrants who have been staying long-term in shelter facilities to make room for a predicted influx of new migrants in the summer while the US border continues to see record levels of crossings.

NYC’s government has reportedly sent a list of long-staying migrants it wants evicted in a short time frame to one of the largest providers of shelter housing in the city.

Short-Notice

A report from Documented New York citing interviews with immigrant families asserted that the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has given transfer notices to migrant families with only 24 to 48 hours’ notice.

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“New York City has abruptly started transferring migrant families with children staying in some Department of Homeless Services family shelters, giving them short notice that they must quickly pack up and leave their current homes,” said Documented New York.

Facility Transfer

According to the report, multiple migrant families said they were told they had to be transferred the very next day and they had to quickly leave their current homes.

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The families would be moved to hotel shelters and away from the long-term DHS facilities.

Abrupt Timeline

Deicy Lara, a migrant from Columbia said that she had been living in a shelter for two years only to be given a 24-hour notice to immediately pack up and leave.

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“They called me and told me that today at 4 p.m. I would have to have all my things outside because I would have transferred to a hotel,” Lara said.

Outrage at Shelter Evictions

Win, a large provider of family shelter and housing in New York City, decried the transfer demands in a statement to Fox New Digital.

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“Win stands firmly against shelter transfers, a cruel and senseless policy that the department of homeless services must end immediately. Shelter evictions only destabilize families – particularly children – who are trying to finish the end of the school year in the communities they’ve come to know and trust,” said Win.

Calling for Transfers to End

In their statement, Win also called upon the city to put an end to this transfer policy which they see as unnecessary and cruel.

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“We stand with our neighbors, elected officials, and most importantly, those who call our shelters home to put an end to these transfers immediately,” Win said.

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Summer Arrivals

Win’s president Christine Quinn described the motivation the city had impressed on them for the transfer move.

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“The city expressed said it wanted to have units specifically for migrants, Quinn said, and were planning for a summer surge in arrivals, so it needed to create vacancies in certain shelters,” said Quinn.

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DSS Comments

Neha Sharma, the spokesperson for the Department of Social Services (DSS) stated that this move would be more helpful to asylum-seeker families because DHS sites are “better positioned” to help new arrivals find services they need while in New York City.

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“DHS is collaborating with the other agencies involved in the asylum seeker response to expand and strengthen those specialized services, and co-locating families is essential to ensure they have access,” said Sharma.

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Pushback Against Quinn

Sharma also pushed back on comments by Quinn, accusing them of misleading the public.

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“This is a willful misrepresentation of the agency’s efforts to provide supports for all New Yorkers, including asylum seekers, in need,” said Sharma.  “We hope Chris Quinn joins us in calling on the federal government to provide critical funding for asylum seekers instead of finding ways to mis-portray the city’s efforts to ensure we are delivering for all New Yorkers in need.”

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NYC Migrant Crisis

According to NPR in February, New York City saw an influx of over 175,000 migrants recently arriving in the city for the first time, making the 2,000-mile journey to the city after crossing the US-Mexico border.

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“Right now there does not appear to be a slowdown in sight for this national crisis. New Yorkers did not ask to take on this situation, but many have stepped up to help migrants in need. Now it’s time for the rest of our state and federal government to do their part,” said the New York City government.

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The Mayor of NYC is Worried

In February, New York City Mayor Eric Adams asserted the city is having a particularly difficult time with the strain on its resources. NYC has now spent over $2 billion on housing and providing services for these new arrivals.

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“This issue will destroy New York City,” Adams said.

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Struggling to Get Aid

Mayor Adams pled with the state of New York in February to cover half of its costs, saying the city is “in a precarious situation.”

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President Biden thus far has only given around $150 million in federal aid so far, which Adams thinks the city can’t rely on to fix the problem. “Despite our efforts, we cannot assume they will give us any more,” Adams said about federal aid.

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