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New York City Hall will give immigrants a plane ticket to any country, but only one way


Alina Prikhodko

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New York Mayor Eric Adams, seeking to relieve an overcrowded shelter system, is directing migrants to a new “re-ticketing center” where they can get a free one-way plane ticket to anywhere in the world, reports New York Post.

The center, located in a converted church building in the East Village, was created with the sole purpose of providing tickets to all asylum seekers who want to leave the city.

“As there is no sign of a decompression strategy anytime soon, we have set up a re-ticketing center for migrants,” a mayoral spokesman said. “Here, the city will redouble its efforts to purchase tickets for migrants to help them take the next steps in their life journey. This, among other things, will help us organize work at Roosevelt for new arrivals.”

In some cases, buying a plane ticket costs less than the $380 a day the city pays to house an asylum seeker in one of its shelters. It was not immediately clear where or how many asylum seekers want to go. Some of the migrants who accepted the city's offer have already booked plane tickets to Morocco.

New aggressive strategy

The city has been providing free airfare to willing migrants for months, but the creation of a rebooking center is part of an aggressive new strategy to help deal with the steady stream of asylum seekers pouring into New York.

On the subject: Adams further limited migrants' access to free housing: what has changed

In addition, the mayor imposed a 30-day limit (up from the previous 60 days) on how much one adult migrant can stay in a city shelter to free up space. After this period, migrants must reapply to return to the system.

According to the mayor's office, as of Sunday, October 22, less than 20% of migrants who received notice that their stay in the shelter was ending had reapplied to remain in the system. This comes after Mayor Adams warned on Wednesday that migrants would soon be sleeping on the streets as New York City reached “full capacity.”

More than 2022 migrants have flooded the city since the spring of 130, and there are currently more than 65 asylum-seekers housed in New York's various shelters, according to the latest data from the mayor's office. “We don't have the space, and it's not a matter of if people will sleep on the streets, but when. We are working at full capacity,” the mayor concluded.

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