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NYC Sees Some Relief as Migrant Arrivals Slow Drastically

Published: July 9, 2024
People walk through Times Square following a number of incidents with recently arrived migrants on Feb. 06, 2024 in New York City. The city is experiencing some relief after the flow of migrants recently dropped drastically compared to its peak. (Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While the number of migrants under the city’s care has remained around the same at about 69,000, the number making their way to the Big Apple has dropped drastically.

According to figures supplied by the Adams administration, between 1,100 and 1,500 migrants have been arriving in the city weekly since March, down from its peak of around 4,000 a week in January this year.

Many are arrivals from the southern border, having crossed illegally into the United States.

As of July 2, approximately 64,300 migrants remain housed and fed in tax-payer funded shelters in the city, a number that stabilized in March when the number of migrants to the city dropped. 

The most recent available data from City Hall — ending June 16 — indicated about 1,100 migrants came to the city that week.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Adams is saying his administration’s limit on stays in shelters, which he implemented last fall, is helping to ease the burden on resources and city taxpayers.

His limit on stays states families can remain in shelters for 60 days, while individuals have to leave after 30 days. 

As of mid-May this year, individuals staying in shelters who wish to remain beyond the 30-day limit must prove that they have “extenuating circumstances” to warrant an extension.


Thousands of illegal immigrants have been bussed to New York state from Texas as the Lone Star state’s leadership protests what they say are lax border control policies.

Policy met with backlash

However, the policy has received bipartisan criticism, with some saying that the policy, while well-intentioned, has a limited impact.

The director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, Steven Camarota, told the New York Post that the policy allows people to “re-up,” and that it’s hard to measure the policies effectiveness as some migrants choose to leave regardless and data concerning lengths of stay prior to the policy being implemented remains murky.

Camarota also argues that the policy is undermined by legacy state law, including New York’s “Right to Shelter” and pro-sanctuary policies, which he says incentivizes migrants to continue to make their way to the city. 

“New York has no one to blame but themselves. The city’s ‘Right to Shelter’ policy undermines the mayor’s stated goal to get migrants to move out,” Camarota said. 

Bob Holden, a Queens Councilman, agrees, calling the city’s policy “toothless.”

“The best way to lower the migrant population is to stop the freebies, get rid of the Right to Shelter, and end sanctuary city status,” the Democrat told the NY Post, adding, “The population isn’t declining despite far fewer arrivals, proving once again that the pie-in-the-sky, detached idealism by the left when the limits were placed was unfounded.”


Tides are turning

On July 8, only a few dozen migrants milled around the entrance of the migrant arrival center located in Midtown’s Roosevelt Hotel, where previously lines stretched around the block. 

Local workers say that full buses of migrants have been replaced with smaller vehicles and the frequency of drop-offs of new arrivals have thinned from daily to only a few times per week. 

City officials told The Post that they expect the shelter population to begin to decline by the end of summer or early fall.

At a City Hall meeting on June 17, Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom said, “The summertime is a great time to resettle children and families.”

“We’re going to be working really closely with the state in order to do that. I’m very excited about this opportunity now that kids will be getting out of school to really see where are the places that other people want to settle,” she said.