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With Title 42 Set to Expire, NYC Scrambles to Find Migrant Housing

Government + Policy

With Title 42 Set to Expire, NYC Scrambles to Find Migrant Housing

A Trump-era immigration policy will expire on Friday, spurring a wave of cross-border migration that New York City is unequipped to handle

May 9, 2023
Public housing in New York City
Image: SeanPavonePhoto / stock.adobe.com

This Friday, a Trump-era immigration policy called Title 42 is set to expire, and an influx of cross-border migration is expected to follow shortly after. As the only major U.S. city with a “right-to-shelter law,” New York City is a popular sanctuary for migrants, but without enough housing units to support a large wave of incomers from the southern border, the city could soon be inundated with asylum seekers in need of emergency housing that doesn’t exist, The New York Times reports.

Last Sunday, Mayor Eric Adams’ chief of staff, Camille Joseph Varlack, asked the head of every city agency to identify properties or empty spaces that could be repurposed as temporary shelter spaces to house asylum seekers, but finding large-scale housing solutions is easier said than done.

The city has asked the Port Authority if it could use airplane hangars to house migrants at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which the Port Authority controls, and is weighing whether to place tents in Central, Prospect and Flushing Meadows Corona parks; in the parking lots of Citi Field, where the New York Mets play; and at Aqueduct Racetrack, according to a report in CNN that a city official confirmed on Monday.

City officials have also asked state and federal officials for a list of all armory and military bases in the city and have discussed using the now-closed Kings Park Psychiatric Center in Long Island, the city official said. They have even talked about shutting down city streets to accommodate tents and commissioning cruise ships, the latter an idea that has long intrigued the Adams administration.

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