LIC Shelter
Migrant shelter in Long Island City, Queens. Andrea Pineda-Salgado/Latin Times

NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Eric Adams is expanding curfews to additional migrant shelters in Queens and Brooklyn in response to community complaints, a result of violent incidents attributed to migrant shelter residents that have gained nation attention in recent weeks.

The decision expands curfews to 20 migrant shelters in Queens and Brooklyn, compared to the four in which the measure was active until now. The curfews will be in place from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and will impact about 3,600 migrants. The largest shelter impacted is one in Long Island City in Queens, which houses 1,000 migrants.

Kayla Mamelak, deputy press secretary to the Adams administration, said the curfews are in line with restrictions already in place at the city's traditional homeless shelters and allow for "more efficient capacity management" of migrants in the city's care.

"New York City continues to lead the nation in managing this national humanitarian crisis, and that includes prioritizing the health and safety of both asylum seekers in our care and New Yorkers who live in the communities surrounding the emergency shelters we manage," she said in an emailed statement to NY1.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams
New York City Mayor Eric Adams AFP

The additional curfews follows a series of incidents involving violence and criminal activity linked to migrants.

Last Friday, police arrested at 15-year-old teenager from Venezuela who fired shots in Times Square while attempting to flee from police after he was stopped by security for suspected shoplifting. The gunfire injured a Brazilian tourist.

Another episode of the kind involved a viral video showing a confrontation between a group of migrants and police in Times Square last month, which resulted in multiple arrests and the pressing of charges.

However, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said the previous incidents are unrelated to the implementation of the curfews. Instead, he says it is a means to asses the availability of vacant beds.

"The rationale they've stated is primarily to use this as a tool for managing bed capacity so if a bed is empty they can bring another individual in," said Levine in an interview with NY1. "I don't think they've officially cited safety as a motivation."

However, the curfews have caused a concern for migrants who have night shifts, especially those that are delivery workers.

"It would not be good if someone's work schedule was disrupted by the need to be home by 11," said Levine.

The Legal Aid Society, who works closely with migrants, showed concern about the curfews and its effects on work for migrants.

"New arrivals seeking to move on from city shelter must work: Imposing a curfew impedes the ability of our clients — many of whom work night shifts-to earn the money they need to exit shelter," they said in a statement.

In total, 24 migrant shelters are now subject to the shelter curfew restrictions — they represent a fraction of the 200 shelters across the city. There are currently 66,000 migrants in the city's shelter system.

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