NEW YORK (PIX11) — The expiration of the pandemic-era restriction known as Title 42 led to a rush of migrants into the country. New York City has been at the forefront of the humanitarian crisis at the border.

Asylum seekers arriving in New York City are seeking the protections and possibilities of this sanctuary city.

At the Belnord Hotel, which operates as an emergency shelter, the 117 rooms are occupied by migrants who, after crossing treacherous terrains, still have no place else to go and are not authorized to work.

“I know some of the moms want to work too, but without papers, it’s hard to get child care. It’s unimaginable, I think to those of us in New York and as a mother myself. I can’t imagine carrying a baby at that time or being pregnant,” said City Council member Gale Brewer.

Brewer helped to organize a Mother’s Day giveaway event for asylum seekers and migrant families, delivering gift bags for the close to 200 moms staying at two new shelters on the Upper West Side.

Allison Pesantes, a migrant mom, said she had low expectations for this Mother’s Day, so she was grateful for the skincare lotions and chocolates.

Meanwhile, city leaders and lawmakers are trying to provide resources and housing for asylum seekers.

According to city officials, New York has processed more than 65,000 migrants since last spring and around 35,000 remain in the city’s care. This week, Mayor Eric Adams announced that the Roosevelt Hotel would soon be used as the city’s first asylum-seeker arrival center.

The hotel, which has been closed for nearly three years, is one of several locations that the city has had to convert into emergency shelters or Humanitarian Emergency Response Centers to keep up with the migrants arriving each day.

Local officials have been asking for more state and federal government support. And the decision to send some migrants upstate has led to pushback.

“They want to participate in our society; otherwise, they would not have made all those sacrifices that we heard about. These families are extraordinary,” said Brewer.

She hopes this gesture will inspire New Yorkers to be welcoming of migrant families.