NEW YORK (PIX11) — Maurico, a Colombian migrant with a wife and two young children, offered swift reaction Tuesday to the news their days may be numbered in the family shelter they’ve been living in for the last five months.
“I don’t have any place to go with my family,” Maurico said through a translator.
Mayor Eric Adams said 64,000 migrants remain under the city’s care, with around 4,000 still arriving every week.
“When you’re at capacity, every day is a challenge,” said Adams.
Consequently, Adams said the city will begin “…providing 60 days’ notice to families with children seeking asylum to find alternative housing along with intensified casework services to help them explore other housing options…”
The Adams administration also announced it will soon return to the long abandoned practice of placing families with children in congregate – or group settings – in the migrant shelter at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.
Adams then offered an ominous warning.
“But even if you say ‘build more housing,’ that’s going to take years. We have a problem right now. It’s not if, it’s when people are going to be sleeping on our streets,” said Adams.
Housing and social service advocates fiercely criticized the 60-day shelter limit.
“It doesn’t make any sense to impose an arbitrary time limit,” said Legal Aid Society staff attorney Josh Goldfein.
Goldfein also offered blistering reaction to the city’s plan to house families with single adults.
“It exposes children and their families to all kinds of risks, including communicable diseases, sexual assault,” said Goldfein.
Meanwhile, Mauricio said he just wants a chance to legally support his family.
“They should extend the time, or give me papers, and that way I can find a steady job. The problem that I have right now is if we want to rent something, they’re asking for a lot of paperwork. And we don’t have the papers to do it,” said Mauricio.
The mayor and his critics, led by the Legal Aid Society, continue to fire jabs back and forth at each other. Adams, during a news conference Tuesday, essentially challenged them to stop nitpicking his every move or decision, and instead join the effort to come up with viable solutions.
But the Legal Aid Society immediately shot back with a lengthy statement detailing a list of proposals it says it’s pitched to the Adams administration.
Caught in the middle, migrant fathers like Mauricio, who currently have no access to work, may soon not have access to housing for his family.