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New York City Mayor Eric Adams is departing on an international tour to Latin America, to tell migrants that the city is ‘at capacity’ as a huge surge of asylum seekers overwhelms its social services and shelter system.

Adams, a Democrat, is set to meet with officials in Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia during a four-day trip that begins on Wednesday.

New York has absorbed almost 120,000 migrants over the past year, with up to 800 still arriving daily seeking housing and employment, forcing officials to consider plans for additional shelter sites.

‘We are at capacity,’ Adams told reporters on Tuesday. ‘We’re going to tell them that coming to New York doesn’t mean you’re going to stay in a five-star hotel. It doesn’t mean that, the mere fact that you come here, you automatically are going to be allowed to work.’

Though details were scant, officials said they were looking at opening additional shelters to handle the influx, adding to the more than 200 emergency shelters already open, including 17 large-scale humanitarian relief centers.

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‘We are at capacity,’ Adams said Tuesday as he announced a Latin American trip. ‘We’re going to tell them that coming to New York doesn’t mean you’re going to stay in a five-star hotel’

Asylum seekers line up in front of the historic Roosevelt Hotel, converted into a city-run processing center, on September 27

Lisa Zornberg, chief counsel of City Hall, said that plans to build a large new shelter facility at the defunct Floyd Bennet Field airport in Brooklyn are proceeding ‘operationally’ despite a legal challenge now working through the courts.

‘I can’t believe that we’re still in the situation that we are talking about how many more sites we want to open. We have 118,000 people that have come to New York City. This is a national and an international crisis,’ said Anne Williams-Isom, New York’s deputy mayor for Health and Human Services.

‘This is a national and an international crisis,’ she added. ‘We really need a decompression strategy, so that as people are coming over, we can send them to other parts of the United States.’

Williams-Isom said that new arrivals of migrants in the city have recently reached 600 to 800 individuals per day, double the previous rate of some 10,000 per month.

She added that The Roosevelt Hotel, which the city is using as a 24/7 migrant intake and processing center, currently has 412 people who are waiting for a shelter placement.  

‘You are going to continue to see lines outside of the Roosevelt. New Yorkers should prepare that you are going to see lines over the next coming weeks and months because again, there is a surge at the border,’ said Williams-Isom.

Migrants who are streaming into NYC, lineup to enter the Federal Plaza to file with the immigration services on Monday

The line of migrants formed across the street from 60 Centre Street where the Donald Trump civil fraud trial is taking place 

People sleeping on the sidewalk outside the Roosevelt Hotel in August. Officials said Tuesday the Roosevelt currently has 412 people who are waiting for a shelter placement

Adams has made a series of urgent pleas for a shift in federal immigration policy and for funding to help the city manage the arrival of migrants, which he said could cost the city $12 billion as it rents space at hotels, erects new emergency shelters and provides various government services for asylum seekers.

His trip will begin in Mexico, where Adams will attend the North Capital Forum and meet with government officials. 

He will then travel to Quito, Ecuador, for additional meetings before he heads to Bogotá, Colombia and eventually to the Darien Gap, a dangerous section of the route many South American migrants pass through on their way to the US.

Adams has recently moved to tighten New York shelter rules by limiting adult migrants to just 30 days in city-run facilities amid overcrowding. 

The city is also resisting a court ruling that requires it to provide shelter to anyone who requests it.

City and state leaders in New York, Illinois and elsewhere have urged the federal government to make it easier for migrants to get work permits, which would allow them to pay for food and housing.

The Biden administration last month took a step toward complying with the demand by extending a temporary legal status to an estimated 472,000 Venezuelans in the US, which will make it easier for them to get work authorization. 

Adams, a Democrat, is set to meet with officials in Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia during a four-day trip that begins on Wednesday

Tents are seen for new emergency shelters on Randalls Island in August. NYC has opened more than 200 migrant shelters, and is considering sites for additional ones

Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul have announced $38 million in new state funding to help connect migrants with legal services.

Still, expediting work permits for migrants in general would take an act of Congress to shorten the mandatory six-month waiting period for work permits for asylum-seekers who cross the border illegally. 

With divided control of Congress, such legislation appears unlikely.

Chicago is also planning to send a delegation to the Texas border with Mexico to meet with government officials and nongovernmental organizations, and give migrants a more realistic portrayal of what they might expect in Chicago.

Cristina Pacione-Zayas, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s first deputy chief of staff, said the Texas border trip will be used, in part, to warn migrants about Chicago winters.

‘We want to manage the number of people that are coming and staying in Chicago,’ she said.

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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