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New York begins evicting some people in migrant shelters

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City on Wednesday stepped up its efforts to expel immigrants from its overwhelmed shelters by beginning enforcement. a new rule that limits some adult asylum seekers to one month in the system before having to find a bed on their own.

Immigrants without young children must now leave hotels, tent complexes and other city-run shelter facilities and find other accommodations after 30 days (or 60 days for those between 18 and 23 years old) unless they present evidence of “extenuating circumstances” and are granted an exemption.

As of Wednesday night, 192 immigrants had requested an extension after reaching their limit, and 118 had been approved, Mayor Eric Adams’ office said. Thousands more are expected to receive eviction notices in the coming months.

Mamadou Diallo, a 39-year-old Senegalese man, says he is not sure where he will go when his time expires later this week at a shelter in the Bronx.

He hopes to get an extension, noting that he just filed his asylum application and has been taking English classes, but cannot apply for a work permit under federal rules until about five months after applying for asylum.

“I have nowhere to go,” Diallo said Wednesday. “I’m going to school. I’m looking for a job. I’m doing my best.”

The new restrictions came after the Adams administration succeeded in March in altering the city’s unique style. right to refuge ” rule that requires you to provide temporary housing to every homeless person who requests it.

Before the new rule went into effect, adult immigrants without children were still limited to 30 days in a shelter, but could immediately reapply for a new bed with no questions asked.

The city also restricts immigrant families with young children to 60 days remains, but they are not affected by the new rule and can still reapply without providing any justification.

Still, an audit found that the The launch was “fortuitous” during the last six months

FILE - An immigrant family shows their documents to security guards at the Roosevelt Hotel, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, in New York.  Hundreds of migrants are being evacuated from New York City's shelter system starting Wednesday, May 22, 2024, as part of a March agreement that addresses the city's long-standing “right to shelter” rule. .  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

An immigrant family shows their documents to security guards at the Roosevelt Hotel, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Immigrant rights and homeless advocates say they are closely monitoring the eviction process, which affects about 15,000 immigrant adults. The city’s shelter system currently houses about 65,000 migrants, but many of them are families with children.

“Our concern is that people will be denied permission for reasons that could be appealed or because of some error or because they didn’t have all the required documentation,” said David Giffen, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “We’re watching very closely to see if that happens because no one who needs shelter in New York City should be relegated to sleeping on the streets.”

Adams, a Democrat, responded Tuesday to critics who have called the city increasingly restrictive Immigrant shelter regulations are inhumane and randomly deployed, saying the city simply cannot continue housing immigrants indefinitely. New York City has provided temporary housing to nearly 200,000 immigrants since spring 2022, and more than a thousand new arrivals arrive in the city each week, she noted.

“People said it was inhumane to take people out during the winter, so now they’re saying it’s inhumane to do it in the summer,” Adams said. “There is no good time. There is no good time.”

FILE - A migrant talks to police at the migrant shelter on Randall's Island, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in New York.  Hundreds of migrants are being evacuated from New York City's shelter system starting Wednesday, May 22, 2024, as part of a March agreement that addresses the city's long-standing “right to shelter” rule. .  (AP Photo/Andrés Kudacki, File)

A migrant talks to police at the Randall’s Island migrant shelter, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Andrés Kudacki, File)

The move comes as Denver, another city that has seen an influx of immigrants, embarks on a ambitious immigrant support program that includes six-month apartment stays and intensive job preparation for those who cannot yet legally work. Meanwhile Chicago has imposed 60 days accommodation limits for adult migrants without renewal option, and Massachusetts has limited stays for families up to nine months, starting in June.

Adams had asked a court in October to suspend the “right to housing” requirement completely, but the measure was rejected by immigrant rights and homeless advocacy groups. In March they established with an agreement that establish the new rules for immigrants.

The agreement still allows city officials to grant extensions of shelter stays on a case-by-case basis.

City officials say immigrants must demonstrate they are making “significant efforts to resettle,” such as applying for work authorization or asylum, or searching for a job or apartment.

Immigrants can also get an extension if they can show they plan to move out of town within 30 days, have an upcoming immigration-related hearing, or have a serious medical procedure or are recovering from one.

Immigrants between the ages of 18 and 20 can also get extensions if they are enrolled full-time in high school.

“While these changes will require some adaptation, we are confident that they will help migrants advance to the next stage of their journeys, reduce significant pressure on our shelter system, and allow us to continue providing essential services to all New Yorkers,” Camille Joseph Varlack, Adams’ chief of staff, said Wednesday in an emailed statement.

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Follow Felipe Marcelo on twitter.com/philmarcelo.