On Monday, Mayor Eric Adams said that the end of a pandemic-era immigration policy called Title 42 sparked the arrival of 10,000 migrants in two weeks and pushed the city’s safety net systems to the brink. However, city officials have not been clear about how much the influx of migrants arriving from the southern border has contributed to the city’s skyrocketing homeless population.
Adams reported 5,800 migrants arrived last week, but that figure is dubious upon closer inspection.
Data provided by the city to the Coalition for the Homeless and shared with Gothamist shows fewer than 90 migrants sought shelter from the Department of Homeless Services on Sunday, and fewer than 100 requested shelter on Monday. That’s far less than the rate of approximately 602 migrants arriving daily; that number was reported by Jacques Jiha, the mayor’s budget director.
There’s also the fact that the feared surge in migrants following the end of Title 42 has not materialized. In fact, it fell in half. Power Malu, a mutual aid worker who has been helping new arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and at airports, said fewer than 550 migrants arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal last week on 11 buses chartered by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Several hundred more migrants landed at the city’s airports. A spokesperson for Abbott confirmed that nowhere near as many migrants were sent to the Big Apple as the mayor claims.
“Texas has bused a total of 6,900-plus migrants to New York City since we began busing there last year on Aug. 5,” said Renae Eze, Abbott’s director of communications. “That’s over almost one year, not one week.”
So what is going on? Double counting? Poor tracking? Or artificial inflating? Adams last week that nearly 50% of all hotel rooms in the city are currently occupied by migrants, a claim that the Daily News disputed in a report. Activists fear he may be citing enlarged totals to end right-to-shelter, and that doesn’t seem like a totally unreasonable assumption.
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