To prevent asylum-seekers from entering his city, which he says has no more capacity, New York City Mayor Eric Adams is planning to have fliers distributed at the U.S.-Mexico border discouraging migrants from choosing New York as their place of residency. Adams switched on a virtual ‘No Vacancy’ sign after absorbing more than 90,000 migrants in the five boroughs since last year with little help from the federal government, according to Politico. Under a new mayoral directive, single adult migrants will only be allowed to stay in the city’s shelter system for 60 days, after which they will be required to reapply for a slot. The idea, Adams said, is to prioritize shelter beds for families while helping single adults search for other places for them to stay, whether it is with friends or family elsewhere. “Our goal is: no child, no family is sleeping on the streets,” Adams said. “That’s our goal, and we’re getting closer and closer to being unable to fulfill even that.”
New York City is one of the only metro areas in the country with a right to shelter, meaning people looking for a bed will be housed for as long as they need one. However, the Adams administration is challenging the right to shelter law in court. While Adams said his goal was not to increase street homelessness, the average shelter stay for a single adult was 509 days during the 2022 fiscal year, nearly 10 times longer than the new 60-day mandate. With the current capacity issues and more migrants' arrival, there is a shortage of beds, which may force asylum-seekers to wait, potentially on the streets, until something opens up. The city will continue to search for locations to house arriving migrants. Officials have been busing volunteers to other locations throughout the state. To communicate the strain on the municipal safety net, the fliers warn migrants that there is no guarantee of shelter and services and caution that the cost of housing, food and transportation are among the highest in the country. “Please consider another city as you make your decision about where to settle in the U.S.,” the flier, published in English and Spanish, suggested.