How New York’s Migrant Crisis Affects American Travelers

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New York City Council has launched the New Arrival Strategy Team to address the ongoing migrant crisis, as the city copes with over 189,000 recent arrivals. This cross-sector initiative aims to streamline access to shelter, housing, employment, and essential services, tackling the dual challenges of integrating migrants and managing rising homelessness. With key political figures involved, the strategy seeks effective solutions to support both new and existing residents amidst unprecedented urban pressures.

An Influx of Migrants

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexandros Michailidis

Since early 2022, more than 189,000 migrants have arrived in New York, with around 64,000 being under the care of the city.

A New Strategy

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / create jobs 51

The City Council recently announced that the New Arrival Strategy Team is being formed, and will include various members of New York’s political scene such as former Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios Paoli.

Working Together

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mircea Moira

The team aims to bring together government experts and key stakeholders in helping the city better serve both its new and existing residents.

Areas of Concern

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pressmaster

The strategy will focus on areas such as shelter, housing, employment, legal and health services, and language to help immigrants and asylum seekers.

Education

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dennis MacDonald

According to ny1.com, students are dropping out of education due to housing issues. A 60-day shelter limit for those under 23 means nearly 700 migrant children have left the school system early.  

A State of Emergency

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Arnett Murry

With 1,500 new migrants reported to have arrived in the last week, the city’s 220 emergency shelters are under strain.

Highest Ever Homelessness

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Elena Rostunova

coalitionforthehomeless.org reports that homelessness in New York City has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression, with 33,399 homeless children using the city’s shelter system each night in November 2023.

Unaffordable Housing

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Doucefleur

A lack of affordable housing is said to be the main cause of the homelessness problem, meaning long term residents are also in need of the shelters and support – not just new arrivals.

A Disproportionate Problem

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Of those in shelters, roughly 56% are Black, 32% are Hispanic/Latinx, and 1% are White. The respective demographics in the city’s population are around 20%, 29%, and 30%. There is also a disproportionate number of families affected by at least one disability.

A Right to Shelter

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Travers Lewis

New York City is unique for a certain 1981 court ruling. It says that the city is required to provide temporary housing for every homeless person who asks for it.

Stricter Limits

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pressmaster

However, the word “temporary” is key here. Due to pressure on the system, shelters will now only have to house adults for 30 days. This 30-day limit will apply specifically to migrants without children unless they fit one of the extenuating circumstances. 

Families’ Rights

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Aaron Wells

The new rules will allow migrant families 60 days and the option to reapply. An executive order last year removed the requirement to provide families with private rooms with bathrooms and kitchens.

Migrants Coming to NYC

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The Refugee Crisis has seen over 136,000 migrants arrive from Venezuela since early 2022. Significant numbers of migrants also come from the Dominican Republic, China, Jamaica, Mexico, Haiti and Colombia.

Open Arms

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin

Mayor Adams’s administration announced Project Open Arms back in August 2022 to support asylum-seeking families and help their children enrol in school. The project involves various government agencies, including the Department of Social Services.

Migrant Centers

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

New York City has various centers for shelter and support and is planning to open a fifth Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Concerns have been raised over its location, including the fact that it is in a high-risk flood zone.

Hotels

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tero Vesalainen

Short-term use of hotels to provide shelter is a common approach to solving the problem. The Watson Hotel in Manhattan currently houses up to 500 single men.

Tickets to Canada

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / GagoDesign

In February 2023, nypost.com reported that the Mayor was using taxpayer funds to provide bus tickets for migrants to help them reach Canada. Quebec’s government demanded that this stop immediately.

Title 42

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin

Trump introduced the restriction known as Title 42 to prevent migrants from countries with communicable diseases from seeking asylum. This rule stayed in place until May 2023, long after the COVID threat was considered to be over.

A Replacement Measure

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Consolidated News Photos

Biden has proposed a new measure, perhaps to replace Title 42, in a more aggressive bid to prevent migrants from seeking asylum. This includes a new emergency authority allowing the President to shut down the Mexican-US border.

An Increased Budget

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / NATNN

In January this year, the new state budget plan revealed to include a $500 million increase in funds to help manage the ongoing arrival of migrants. Perhaps this will provide New Yorkers and newcomers some relief in the near future.

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The post How New York’s Migrant Crisis Affects American Travelers was republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

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