Home » NYC to deny some immigrants ‘right to shelter’ after compromise with activists

NYC to deny some immigrants ‘right to shelter’ after compromise with activists

by John Jefferson
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Some illegal immigrants to New York may be denied emergency housing resources due to a change in state practice. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Friday that the city’s infamous “right to shelter” policy — which mandates a bed be provided for any individual who requires it — would be significantly rolled back.

Under the new terms, individuals would have a right to 30 days of housing services upon entry into the city’s aid system. 

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Following the 30-day window, the city can refuse individuals’ re-entry into the system, “unless the individual has demonstrated they have some sort of extenuating circumstance necessitating a short additional amount of time in shelter, or have received a reasonable accommodation due to a disability,” according to Adams’ office.

Families will still be comprehensively covered under the relaxed law and cannot be turned away if seeking housing.

“This new agreement acknowledges the realities of where we are today, affirms our shared mission to help those in need and grants us additional flexibility to navigate this ongoing crisis,” Adams said in a video statement.

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Mayor Eric Adams

While the compromise puts limits on the “right to shelter” for individuals, it also mandates housing officials work to render as much procedural and material aid as possible during the month of housing provided. 

The New York City system must help searching for a location to permanently rehouse each migrant while in its care. Expected efforts include arranging meetings with immigration lawyers and applying for resettlement programs.

Adams sought to completely end the “right to shelter” requirement in October 2023, citing a state of emergency due to the influx of migrants. 

Migrants New York City

The Legal Aid Society, a non-profit civil legal group, challenged the attempt and helped negotiate the current deal.

“The reasonable plan outlined in this settlement significantly enhances the city’s ability to manage the extraordinary influx of people that have come into our care and will help stabilize our shelter system for those who need it,” said New York City Corporation Counsel Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix, according to Politico.

The change comes in the face of overwhelming illegal immigration to New York City — an influx of migrants that has strained the city infrastructure to its breaking point.

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