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Migrants don't want to leave New York, even if they are given free plane and bus tickets


Alina Prikhodko

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Less than 2% of adult migrants per day accept free plane or bus tickets to leave New York. According to New York Post, they stay even after they are evicted from the overcrowded shelter system.

Of the 1 asylum seekers who come into the city's East Village refugee center each day, on average only 600 are willing to move to another city or state.

In September, the administration of Eric Adams reduced the period keeping adult migrants in city shelters for up to 30 days to free up space in an already overburdened system. As a result, hundreds of adult migrants have been crowding the center located in St. Brigid School on East 7th Street.

Once there, migrants have the right to reapply for temporary housing, which could result in them being sent to hotels in the north of the state, or accepting an offer of free ticket by bus or plane one way. On average, only 15% of migrants were able to get a second place in a shelter after their 30-day stay ended.

Ticket to Luck

Since the spring of 2022, the city has allocated $7,6 million to re-house migrants from New York. Major destinations include other counties in New York State, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. It was not immediately clear how much of the $7,6 million went to the East Village center. Asylum seekers can get re-ticketed at other shelters, including the city's main refugee reception center at the Roosevelt Hotel.

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City officials insist that approximately 60% of the migrants (about 113 people) who have passed through the shelter system since spring 000 have already “taken the next steps in their journey.” This number includes asylum seekers who are no longer under the city's care because they are either self-sufficient or have moved out on their own.

“We are focused on intensive management, re-ticketing and legal support. “We want to help more people leave the shelter as they strive for a more independent life,” said a representative from the mayor’s office. “We are grateful for the assistance we have received from our federal partners, but we need more.” We need the federal government to finish what it started. More asylum seekers must be granted expedited work authorization, additional financial support must be sent to New York, and a comprehensive decompression and resettlement strategy must be implemented.”

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