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City Council Speaker calls on mayor Adams to reconsider 60-day shelter limit for migrants

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City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams joined forces with faith and community leaders on Monday to denounce the recent eviction of migrant families from city shelters.

The eviction was enforced as part of a novel policy, which Speaker Adams vehemently criticized, branding it as harsh and unfair during the rally. Urging Mayor Eric Adams to abandon what she deems a counterproductive and cruel tactic, Speaker Adams specifically called for an end to the 60-day limit on shelter stays for families, citing the resulting instability and the burden it places on families who are forced to relocate every two months.

Expressing empathy for the plight of young children and families adversely affected by the 60-day policy, Speaker Adams lamented the negative impact on the well-being of these vulnerable groups. Councilmember Diana Ayala, echoing these sentiments, characterized Mayor Adams as a “slumlord” during the rally, defining the term as someone who systematically evicts individuals by gradually depriving them of essential services.

Power Malu, who has been actively engaged with newly arrived migrant families since 2022, highlighted the challenges faced by families compelled to change shelters. Malu emphasized the increased commuting distances to their children’s schools, expressing concerns not only about safety but also the logistical strain of constantly moving, forcing families to part with accumulated belongings.

Mayor Adams initially announced the 60-day reapplication requirement for shelter last October, attributing the decision to the city’s limitations in terms of space, funds, and staff to adequately support migrants. Earlier this month, the first cohort of families required to reapply for housing checked out of The Row Hotel. Despite concerns, the mayor assured that the city would not abandon children and families to sleep on the streets.

Responding to the growing criticism, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, in a statement to NY1 on Monday, attributed the success in aiding asylum seekers to the city’s 30 and 60-day intensive casework policies.

The statement highlighted the assistance provided to over 102,600 asylum seekers, with more than 60% successfully transitioning toward self-sufficiency, and emphasized that no family with children had been forced to sleep on the streets.

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