Asylum seekers bussed from the southwest to New York arrive with hope and a desire to work, but are often stuck in the city’s strained shelter system.
Since June, more than 20,000 asylum-seekers have arrived in New York City on buses from Texas and Arizona. Other buses have ferried migrants to Washington and Chicago. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis joined the fray briefly in September when he authorized flights of asylum-seekers from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, sparking widespread outcry.
Officials in Texas and Florida maintain that they only transport migrants who choose to reach those destinations. But after the buses roll away, asylum-seekers are left to navigate a foreign city without speaking the language, find a place to live with no relatives or sponsors to help them and feed themselves with no work lined up.
The result, in New York, means that thousands of those migrants end up in the city's homeless shelter system, already strained near capacity with thousands of New Yorkers who had lost jobs and homes during the coronavirus pandemic and a decades-old housing crisis, advocates said. As of Oct. 24, more than 63,000 people crowded the city's homeless shelter system – a new historic high. Last month, Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency to deal with the crisis and directed workers to erect large temporary tents to handle the overflow.
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