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NYC Homeless Shelters Buckling Under the Weight of a Flood of Migrants Bused in From Texas

Published: September 14, 2022
A bus carrying migrants who crossed the border from Mexico into Texas arrives at the Port Authority bus station in Manhattan on Aug. 25, 2022 in New York City. Numerous buses from Texas filled with migrants have been arriving into New York City every few days since early August as Texas Governor Greg Abbott continues to be at odds with New York City Eric Adams about border policies. (Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York’s already stressed shelter system is buckling under the weight of thousands of migrants being bused from the southern border to the city by Texas Governor Greg Abbott prompting homeless-rights activists to call the system’s failure to accommodate everybody the worst failure to provide services in more than a decade. 

Sixty migrants, all men, failed to secure a bed on the night of Sept. 12 when the city’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) failed to find them a place to stay. The failure is the first violation of the city’s court-ordered right-to-shelter rule for single adult males in 13 years, the NY Post reported. 

In addition, it was the second time the DHS failed to provide beds in recent weeks. It’s estimated that some 10,000 migrants have arrived in New York from the southern border since the beginning of summer, a number that is expected to continue to grow. 

So far, the city has managed to accommodate 7,300 of the migrants in the shelter system, New York Officials told the New York Post on Tuesday.

Former City Councilman, Stephen Levin, told the NY Post, “That’s a significant number — that would have a significant impact on the shelter system.” 

Other factors putting additional strain on the system include surging rents around the city and the COVID-19 eviction moratorium that was recently lifted. 

As of Monday, the number of people in New York’s shelter system had surged to 55,485, up almost 25 percent from 45,844 that were reported on the same day in May, officials said. 

The number is still significantly lower than the systems reported all-time high in January 2019 of 61,415 people.

In a joint statement, issued by Legal Aid and the Coalition for the Homeless, they said, “It is now clear that this Administration simply does not have a handle on the city’s sprawling homelessness crisis and the serious capacity issues in the Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) shelters,” adding that, “We are extremely alarmed … and, as legally required, the City must immediately promulgate a plan to ensure that no further violations occur.”

Legal Aid and the Coalition for the Homeless threatened the City saying, “Should the City continue to deprive our clients of this codified right, we’ll seek action from the court.”

Mayor Adams sends a delegation to the southern border

Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Eric Adams sent a delegation to the southern border on a “fact-finding” mission as part of his ongoing conflict with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over his busing of illegal immigrants to New York City.

The delegation met with Border Patrol officials on Sept. 6 in Eagle Pass, Texas on the shores of the Rio Grande, an area where hundreds of migrants cross into the U.S. on a daily basis, Fox News reported. . 

In a statement, Adam’s recently lashed out at Abbott’s office saying that the Governor was “unresponsive” and has turned the crisis “into a political sideshow.”

New York City press secretary, Fabian Levy said in a statement, “We’ve sent members of the team down on a fact-finding mission to hear directly from folks on the ground along the southern border and get the real answers we’re not getting from Texas, including whether they are sending asylum seekers to New York City even if they prefer to go elsewhere.”

“Here in New York, we will continue to welcome asylum seekers with open arms, as we learn more about the process, meet with real partners, and see, firsthand, the reportedly inhumane conditions in which asylum seekers are being subjected to by the state of Texas,” Levy added.

A source familiar with the matter told Fox News that the delegation toured the processing facility where migrants are temporarily housed in Eagle Pass. The facility can house upwards of 1,000 people and migrants typically stay at the facility for less than 72 hours before they are either released into the United States or deported. 

Abbott’s office said that an estimated 1,900 migrants have been bused to New York City since the beginning of August and that more than 7,000 have been sent directly to Washington D.C., since April. In addition, last week, Texas began transporting migrants to Chicago.

Governor Abbott has extended an invitation directly to Mayor Adams, inviting him to visit the border to see things for himself. 

Abbott’s press secretary, Renae Eze, said in a statement, “Governor Abbott’s invitation is still open for Mayor Adams to come visit our southern border and see firsthand the devastating impacts of the Biden-made crisis on border towns smaller than a NYC borough — instead of sending his staffers on a secret trip to Texas.”

According to data, published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, this fiscal year, authorities had over 2.2 million encounters with people attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally and had encounters with over 13 thousand unaccompanied minors, at the southern border, in the month of July 2022 alone.