New York limits “right to shelter” to adult immigrants

NEW YORK – New York City could formally deny housing to undocumented immigrants after reaching an agreement with the Legal Aid Society that will allow the city to limit adult immigrant shelter stays for 30 days without offering them the opportunity to resubmit. your request.

Immigration officials and advocates have reached an agreement on the interpretation of a unique legal decision that grants the “right to shelter” to anyone who requests it, the mayor announced Friday.

Mayor Eric Adams asked a court in October to lift the shelter requirement during a state of emergency, prompting a challenge from The Legal Aid Society and another humanitarian group. In essence, the agreement ends the general housing right of adult migrants after the first 30 days they receive services. But it cements your right to some protections.

The city can determine on a case-by-case basis whether to allow a migrant to stay in a shelter for more than 30 days, according to the agreement. More time will be granted if “significant efforts to resettle” are demonstrated, which may include making an appointment with an immigration attorney, enrolling in a resettlement program, or demonstrating that you are looking for housing.

“This new agreement recognizes the reality we find ourselves in today, reaffirms our shared mission to help those in need and gives us more flexibility to deal with the current crisis,” Adams said in a recorded video announcing the agreement .

Public charge

In exchange, Legal Aid hopes the city will resolve the backlog of migrants reapplying for shelter space. The city also agreed to stop using waiting rooms as shelters, and also provide consistent access to bathrooms, showers and food, according to a statement from The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless.

“This agreement safeguards the right to housing in the consent decree, guaranteeing single adults – both lifelong New Yorkers and newcomers – access to housing, basic needs and case management for the transition from accommodation to community housing,” said attorney Adriene Holder, of The Legal Aid Society, in a statement.

The agreement requires the city to share data with The Legal Aid Society about how many migrants are in shelters and where they are staying. Holder assured that the group will not hesitate to sue if the city does not comply with the provisions.

Adams said that more than 183,000 migrants have passed through the city’s care services at some point since 2022, a huge public burden that affects New York and other cities in the United States, a situation that is impacting budgets and will mean cutting of services to Americans.

Under this agreement, the right to unrestricted refuge would be restored in the event that the humanitarian emergency ends. Around 60% of these migrants have managed to leave the reception system, Ana Almanzar, vice mayor for municipal strategies, told the press this week.

The crisis has been generated due to the open borders policy of President Joe Biden, who is seeking re-election.

Some sleep in the streets

New York’s shelter requirement has been in place for more than four decades after the consent decree forced the city to provide temporary housing to the homeless.

The announcement came after New York shelters began expelling migrant families after 60 days, forcing them to reapply for a place in another shelter. Single adults have been evicted every 30 days, and some have had to sleep on the streets or take shelter in subway cars. The agreement applies to adults seeking shelter, not families.

The constant changes of address represent an extra burden for the many immigrants who request asylum, a step prior to obtaining legal permission to work. At an asylum court hearing on Wednesday, a West African man was shocked when a judge told him he had to submit a written change of address to the court within 5 days of changing his address, even if he moved. every 30 days from one shelter to another.

“It’s going to be a little cumbersome for you,” Immigration Judge Lori Adams said as she handed the man additional copies of the blue change of address forms.