New York to distribute flyers telling migrants at U.S.-Mexico border to ‘consider another city’

By Ted Hesson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New York City will distribute flyers at the U.S.-Mexico border telling newly arrived migrants to “consider another city” and limit shelter stays for adult asylum seekers to 60 days as the city’s Democratic mayor says it is straining to house them.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the office of Mayor Eric Adams said the flyers would seek to “combat misinformation at the border” and that the city would help migrants find other housing and “take the next step in their journey.”

New York City says that it has provided services to 90,000 migrants since last spring and that nearly 55,000 remain in its care. Thousands of those migrants arrived on buses sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who has tried to shift the burden of receiving them to Democratic strongholds.

New York is bound by a decades-old consent decree in a class-action lawsuit to provide shelter for those without homes. As more migrants have arrived, Adams has tried a range of approaches to housing them, from tents to relocating them to other parts of the state.

Two groups advocating for New York City’s homeless population – the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless – said in a joint statement they were reviewing the legality of the new 60-day shelter limit.

“This new policy raises many questions and concerns that the City has yet to address. It is also unclear whether State officials have provided any input on what the City proposes to implement.”

They added that the state has a legal obligation to “ensure that people who lack shelter are safe and secure, and protected from exposure to the elements.”

Adams declared a state of emergency in October 2022 and has called on President Joe Biden, a fellow Democrat, to provide more resources and to help migrants get work permits.

The new flyer that New York City plans to circulate at the border highlights the high cost of housing, food and other necessities that migrants will encounter if they travel to the U.S. financial center.

“Please consider another city as you make your decision about where to settle in the U.S.,” it reads in English and Spanish.

(This story has been refiled to fix formatting in paragraph 6)

(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Aurora Ellis)