Migrants in NYC
"A national humanitarian crisis requires a national solution," the NYC Mayor's Office replied. AFP

Over the past 6 months, an audit by the New York City Comptroller's Office has claimed that the city's 60-day shelter limit for immigrant families has been implemented "haphazardly" and that the city failed to provide families with critical information.

In January, New York City began evicting immigrant families to alleviate its overburdened shelter system, which is claimed to be overstressed beyond the city's 'breaking point.' A similar 30-day policy is in effect for single men and women.

According to the Comptroller's report this rule is "deficient" because it does not provide "any information" about the right to shelter after the deadline, housing options, mail, and personal belongings.

The audit says the Mayor's Office has stated that families with children are "Told from the outset that they can reapply for placement, if necessary, at the Arrival Center."

However, the Comptroller's office criticized, "The 60-Day Notice does not advise families that they have a right to shelter and can reapply for shelter at the Roosevelt Hotel located at 45 East 45th Street."

Something similar happens with school policies, according to the document. The report highlights a letter dated February 5, 2024, where the Mayor stated that the City will strive to place families "in or near the school district where their children are enrolled. . . . Families who are re-applying will be assigned to the available placement nearest to the school of the household's youngest child."

Individuals reported to the Comptroller's Office that families were not offered placements near students' current schools. As a result, families reportedly left the shelter system or accepted placements which required long commutes.

Migrant children
Families were not offered placements near students’ current schools, says the report. AFP

Additionally, the report highlights that the city has an exception for women in their last trimester of pregnancy, after news emerged that a 26-year-old woman who was nearly nine months pregnant was among those moved out.

According to the Comptroller's office, that policy was never written, and city officials have been sloppy about informing agencies, shelter providers, or the women themselves about it.

"No written policy was ever promulgated. Staff and contractors did not get that information. The notice that you get when you get a 60-day notice doesn't tell you that if you're pregnant, you're exempt," Comptroller Brad Lander said at a news conference as cited by NBCN News.

In a statement to Fox 5 News a City Spokesperson said that, "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."

"Nearly half of all families who have seen their 60-day notices expire, and more than 65 percent 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," the city added.

"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. We continue to ask that all New Yorkers join us in calling on 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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