March 3, 2024

Migrant crisis in New York City worsens as asylum seekers are forced to sleep on sidewalks

The migrant crisis in New York City is reaching a breaking point, with some asylum seekers now being forced to sleep on the streets. 

In midtown Manhattan, asylum seekers are sleeping on the sidewalks outside the Roosevelt Hotel, which is now a migrant processing center for city shelters. 

Adrian Daniel Jose is among the dozens of people waiting to get services. Leaving his wife and three kids in Venezuela, the 36-year-old said the journey to the U.S. was dangerous.

He said he was robbed in Mexico, forcing him to cross the border with just the clothes on his back and a pair of taped-together glasses.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday said of the crisis, “From this moment on, it’s downhill. There is no more room.”

Since last spring, more than 95,000 migrants have arrived in New York City, according to the mayor’s office. 

NYC Considers Tent Camps in Central, Prospect Parks to Shelter Migrants
Migrants wait outside the Roosevelt Hotel hoping for a place to stay on August 02, 2023, in New York City. City officials are considering housing the influx of migrants in tents in Central Park in Manhattan and in Prospect Park in Brooklyn as the numbers arriving daily overwhelm available facilities.

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To reduce the chaos, Adams and the mayors of Chicago and Denver are asking the Biden administration to expedite work permits for migrants coming to their cities.

Thousands have been bused from Texas to cities across the country as part of Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s controversial Operation Lone Star. 

According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas troopers have begun detaining fathers traveling with their families, while children and their mothers are turned over to Border Patrol. The move is reminiscent of the Trump administration policy that separated some families for years. 

Back in New York City, Russia’s Natalia and Maksim Subbotina are seeking political asylum. They arrived in Mexico after months of waiting, crossed into the U.S. and arrived from Texas on Tuesday.

“It’s so hard. In my country, I was a famous professor. I have a home, but, uh, this is first day and I haven’t,” Natalia Subbotina said. 

She told CBS News she hasn’t slept since she arrived because “I can’t sleep in this situation. I can’t sleep. It’s not safe for me. For him.” 

To cut down on illegal border crossings, the Biden administration barred asylum claims from those who don’t first seek refuge in other countries. But a district judge halted that order last month, and officials must end that policy next week unless a higher court intervenes.

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