Dem mayor faces backlash for city's 'haphazard' migrant policy: 'Cruelty'


A Democrat mayor is facing scathing criticism over the “haphazard” implementation of a limit on the length of time migrants could stay in city shelter — with a new report finding that the policy was hurried, lacked clear objectives or written protocols.

The report was issued by Comptroller Brad Lander and looks into the implementation of the policy issued by New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration in October 2023, which limited stays in migrant shelters to 60 days.

The policy came at a time when the city was being crushed by an influx of new arrivals who had traveled up from the border and into the sanctuary city, where there was a “right to shelter” policy. Adams had said repeatedly throughout 2023 that the city was overwhelmed and needed more federal assistance.

ADAMS TOUTS NYC’S ABILITY TO ‘MANAGE’ MIGRANT CRISIS, OFFERS ABBOTT FREE STAY AT SHELTER DURING TRIP 

Eric Adams

A new report looks into the implementation of the policy issued by New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration in October 2023. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

When the policy was implemented, the city had said it was receiving an average of 600 people a day, and had over 64,000 still in custody. 

The policy said that the city would give 60 days notice to families with children, while also helping them find “alternative housing” and provide additional casework services to “take the next steps in their journey.”

But the comptroller’s report found that the rule was launched without written objectives and found that the case management consisted of “little more than repetitive screening for alternatives to shelter.”

“Moreover, the policy has been implemented in a haphazard manner. No written policies are in place for key elements of the program; even the exemption of women in the final months of pregnancy, announced after pregnant women were evicted, is not a written policy provided to staff or shelter providers,” the report found. “Families are not provided with adequate notice of their right to return to shelter, or of their right to seek reasonable accommodations that could lead to a waiver of the rule.”

The report also found that the rule undermined migrants’ ability to obtain work authorization and unemployment, and the city does not evaluate program effectiveness.

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New york CIty Migrants

Single migrant men congregate in Tompkins Square Park as volunteers give away food and clothing, Jan. 27, 2024, in the East Village neighborhood of New York City, New York.  (Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Lander’s office recommended that the city end the rule and implement what it said are more “humane” and long-term strategies, provide additional information, move away from emergency procurement to competitive bidding for providers, and track program effectiveness.

“Back in January, the Adams Administration enacted a cruel policy of evicting families from shelter every 60 days with the empty promise of intensive case management—as a result, City Hall has subjected over 37,000 people to repetitive screenings for shelter alternatives, disrupted families’ efforts to obtain work authorization and legal status, and uprooted children from the schools where they made connections,” Lander said in a statement.

“Beyond the cruelty of the policy, our investigation found significant management flaws in how City Hall is administering these evictions and how poorly they are tracking outcomes. Our City can do so much better.”

Adams’ office responded to the report by highlighting its record amid the enormous numbers of migrants it has seen flood into the city. It says that it has written policies for areas referenced in the report used to guide implementation, including a policy for pregnant women, training and exit planning. His office says they have more than 18,000 children in temporary housing enrolled in schools and have provided over 65,000 immunizations. 

“With more than 195,000 migrants coming through our care since the spring of 2022 — more than 65,600 of which are still in our shelter system — and hundreds of more people arriving every single day asking for shelter, our 30-and-60-day notices are one tool in our very limited toolbox to help migrants to exit shelter because, as we have repeatedly said, New York City is long past its breaking point,” a City Hall spokesperson told Fox News Digital. 

“Nearly half of all families who have seen their 60-day notices expire, and more than 65%  of all migrants that have come through our care, have moved out of our shelter system — without a single migrant family with children being forced to sleep on the street,” they said. “While several suggestions made in the comptroller’s report are already part of our policy, any ideas on how to improve our herculean work are welcome and will be considered. But let’s be clear: A national humanitarian crisis requires a national solution.”

The spokesperson said they continue to call on New Yorkers to urge the federal government for “meaningful financial support, to create a national resettlement strategy for migrants, and to finish the job they started by allowing the hundreds of thousands of those they let into this country to immediately work.”

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Recently, Adams touted his handling of the crisis and said he hoped Texas Gov. Greg Abbott would stay in a shelter when he visits the city. Adams has blamed Abbott for busing migrants to the city.

“I’m going to offer him a stay in one of the [Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers] so he can see what he has created and understand how we are treating people with the dignity and respect that he should have shown as well,” Adams said at a press conference when asked about Abbott’s trip to the city.

Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report.

Get the latest updates on the ongoing border crisis from the Fox News Digital immigration hub.





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