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NY Post
New York Post
17 Feb 2024

NextImg:Migrants will ‘never leave NYC’s care’: Critics fear as lefty pols renew push for unlimited shelter stays

Far-left City Council members are making a second push to pass controversial legislation to scrap Mayor Eric Adams’ cap on how long migrants can stay in public shelters.

In July, Adams imposed a 60-day limit on stays at city-run shelters, saying it was needed because the surge of migrants crossing the southern border and coming to New York had left little space.

In September, he lowered the stays for single adults to 30 days before they could reapply, while families kept their 60-day window.

Councilwoman Shahana Hanif, a Brooklyn Democratic socialist, is the lead sponsor on legislation that would eliminate 30- and 60-day limits for people staying in NYC-run shelters. Gabriella Bass
More than 177,000 migrants have come through New York since spring 2022. Robert Miller

Councilwoman Shahana Hanif, a Brooklyn Democratic socialist, will re-introduce her bill prohibiting city agencies from imposing length-of-stay restrictions for migrants and others living in shelters during a Feb. 28 Council meeting, and the legislation is slated for a public hearing at City Hall on March 1.

Hanif first proposed the legislation in October, but it stalled.

Ten other progressive Council members — including Manhattan’s Carlina Rivera and Brooklyn’s Lincoln Restler — agreed to co-sponsor the new version.

Hanif told The Post she also plans to work closely to lift the cap with state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-Manhattan) and Queens Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Queens), who introduced similar legislation in Albany last week.

“Shelter evictions are a human-rights abuse that both the city and state Legislatures need to be taking on, given our shared oversight of shelter functions,” she said. “Our offices will be collaborating closely as we work to advance our bills in City Hall and the Capitol.”

In June, Mayor Adams began imposing time limits on how long people can stay in shelters before re-applying, saying it was needed because the surge of migrants coming to the city. REUTERS
Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Queens) said she believes the legislation seeking to stop caps on lengths of shelter stays is a public-relations “stunt” that would never hold up in a legal challenge. Ron Sachs – CNP for NY Post

Hanif’s bill and the comparable state measure are already fielding serious pushback from many New York Republicans and moderate Democrats.

“The 30- and 60-day check-ins exist for a reason,” said Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Queens). “They provide opportunities for city agencies to make contact with migrants in the shelter system, and ensure that they’re on a path towards living on their own.

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“Removing these crucial check-ins will only create a culture of dependency, in which migrants remain reliant on the government and never leave the city’s care,” she added.

Migrants are seen returning to the Floyd Bennett Field migrant camp in Brooklyn, New York. Helayne Seidman

“This whole thing is really little more than a PR stunt by my colleagues on the radical left. They are trying to legislate the management of city agencies. This is something that can’t be legislated, and they know that.”

More than 177,000 migrants have come through New York City since spring 2022, including at least 66,000 currently in the city’s care.

City shelters as of Thursday had 88,242 residents.