HomeNationalMigrants are flooding NYC streets. And none of them wants to leave...

Migrants are flooding NYC streets. And none of them wants to leave the city, even for free.

As a part of Operation Lone Star, the State of Texas has so far bussed more than 104,000 migrants to sanctuary cities, most of them, around 40,000, in New York City. In a post on X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott stated that the state will persist in sending migrants to cities governed by Democrats until the federal government undertakes significant actions to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

The impact

Sanctuary cities are experiencing the tangible effects of the migrant surge. Although they receive federal support, the financial burden is substantial, pushing many towards fiscal distress. For example, New York City has only been reimbursed for 10% of its migrant-related expenses by the Biden administration in 2023. The influx has also raised public safety concerns, prompting New York City Mayor Eric Adams to advocate for greater cooperation between city agencies and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the deportation of migrants accused of crimes.

The New York problem

Governed by Democrat Katy Hochul, New York has historically supported migrants, offering essential assistance. Hochul recently proposed a $2.4 billion plan in the state budget to aid the city, which has struggled with the heavy demand on its homeless shelters caused by the migrant influx. This move aims to address a critical issue affecting the Democratic Party politically. However, New York City continues to grapple with the challenge of accommodating thousands of migrants and almost none of them wants to leave the city.

Migrants don’t want to leave the city

Every day, less than 2% of adult migrants choose to take free flights or bus rides out of New York City after they’re asked to leave the overcrowded shelters. Out of around 1,600 people looking for asylum who go to the intake center in the East Village daily, about 30 agree to move to another city or state, information from the city’s emergency agency shows.

Less than 2% of migrants choose to take free flights or bus rides out of New York City after they're asked to leave the overcrowded shelters

Read also: California and New York are the core of the housing problem, that’s why people move to states like Texas

Migrants given three choices

In September, to make more room for migrants who arrive in the city, city officials decided adults could only stay in shelters for 30 days. This change led many to the intake center, once St. Brigid School, on East 7th Street. There, migrants have two choices: ask again for short-term housing funded by taxpayers and paid by the government, possibly being sent to hotels further away, or accept a free one-way ticket to leave.

Only 15% of migrants managed to find alternative housing

Between December 17 and March 3, the gathered information reveals that, on average, only 15% of migrants managed to find alternative accommodation upon attempting to rejoin the shelter system at the East Village intake facility following their receipt of a 30-day eviction notice. A representative from City Hall disclosed to The New York Post that, since the spring of 2022, the city has expended $7.6 million on reissuing tickets for migrants to leave New York City. The primary relocation destinations include various locations within New York state, as well as Illinois, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Read also: Texas federal judge allows thousands of migrants to ‘legally’ enter into the U.S. each month, Biden admin wins case

It’s not clear how much of the $7.6 million was actually spent at the East Village center. People seeking asylum can be sent to different shelters for help, like the main intake center at the Roosevelt Hotel. Information on how many were helped at these other places wasn’t available right away.

Less than 2% of migrants choose to take free flights or bus rides out of New York City after they're asked to leave the overcrowded shelters

Many migrants no longer depend on the city’s assistance

However, city leaders say that about 60% of the migrants, which is around 113,000 people, who have used the city’s shelter system since the spring of 2022 have moved on to the next part of their lives. This means these asylum seekers are no longer depending on the city for help because they are either making it on their own or have left the city by their own means.

The city is working hard to help more people become independent by offering detailed support plans, helping with paperwork, and legal advice, said a spokesperson from the city.

Read also: After Texas, California now experiences a real migrant crisis as the situation becomes “unsustainable”

“While we are grateful for the assistance we have received thus far from our federal partners, we need more. We need the federal government to finish the job they started by providing more asylum seekers with expedited work authorization, sending additional financial support to New York City, and implementing a comprehensive decompression and resettlement strategy,” a City Hall rep told The New York Post.



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