Arctic temperatures hitting cities like New York, Chicago and Denver are endangering newly arrived migrants and complicating cities' efforts to manage shelter space. Border crossings used to decline or stay low during the winter months. This year, December reportedly set a new record for illegal border crossings, Axios reports. Chicago has temporarily suspended a new 60-day shelter limit because of subzero temperatures. Evictions had been scheduled to begin this week. But the policy won't go into effect until Monday when temperatures are supposed to lift into the 30s. Denver has not been enforcing its 14-day shelter limit for migrant adults due to temperatures. Supplemental cold weather shelters will be open through Jan. 20.
In New York City, 350 migrant families and 23,000 migrant adults have maxed out new shelter limits. Just a quarter of adult migrants have reapplied for shelter space because most find housing alternatives. "[A]s the temperatures continue to drop in cities across the U.S., it's imperative, now more than ever, that the federal government provide meaningful support to municipalities," said Kayla Mamelak, deputy press secretary for Mayor Eric Adams. Border areas are also preparing for the cold. Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers are continuing to make their way across the border and into major U.S. cities.