As New York City deals with a massive influx of illegal immigrants, Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday said he was asking a judge to revisit the city’s sanctuary city law.
"The law of sanctuary city was in place long before I became mayor. I’m following the law. As a law enforcement person, you know, we follow the law," Adams said. "We are now in court now, today, asking the judge to revisit this law to deal with this humanitarian crisis because, even when they decided to put in place that law, no one thought they would be dealing with a humanitarian crisis of this proportion."
The statement comes as hotels in Upstate New York have canceled pre-booked hotel rooms and booted homeless veterans to make space for Adams’ migrants.
The Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh, New York abruptly canceled a Florida couple’s 30-room reservation made for their wedding, made a few months ago to accommodate traveling guests.
35-year-old Deanna Mifsud and 37-year-old Gary Moretti intend to get married on June 24 in upstate Wallkill, New York, and made the reservation at the hotel because it was 20 minutes away. Their reservation was canceled, with no help from the hotel staff.
Another pair to be married from Queens said Crossroads also canceled their May 20 reservation.
Also in Newburgh, homeless veterans staying in multiple hotels were told by staff that their temporary housing would not be extended and they would have to leave immediately.
The city of Newburgh, which is roughly 60 miles north of New York City, has become the staging ground for illegal immigrants in the state as Mayor Eric Adams continues to transport them into the county from New York City.
Adams signed an emergency declaration on Wednesday, ahead of Title 42’s expiration, suspending the city’s right-to-shelter rules that find private rooms for illegal immigrants immediately, according to CBS News.
In a statement, a spokesperson said, "New York City has cared for more than 61,000 migrants over the last year — sheltering, feeding, and caring for them almost entirely on our own. In recent days, we've seen upwards of 500 people arrive each day, and we expect those numbers to grow significantly as Title 42 lifts tomorrow."
"No asylum seeking-family that has sought shelter from us over the last year has slept on the street thanks to our colossal efforts, but without more support from our federal and state partners, we are concerned the worst may be yet to come. With over 130 emergency sites and eight humanitarian relief centers already opened, we have reached our limit, and this last week we had to resort to temporarily housing recent arrivals in gyms.
"In an effort to mitigate those risks and find room within our shelter system, the city has temporarily suspended the policy surrounding timing for placements in shelters. This is not a decision taken lightly and we will make every effort to get asylum seekers into shelter as quickly as possible as we have done since day one," the statement concluded.
Regarding the emergency declaration, Adams said on Thursday, "this was a hard decision, but it's the right decision, that this is just wrong what is happening to New York City. It's wrong and no one seems to care, but I care. And it was a challenging thing to do, but we're doing the right thing. No one thought about a humanitarian crisis when they first took this court case of right-to-shelter."
"Do you know last week we got 4,200 people? We get in an average of 500 people a day and Title 42 is not lifted. We could potentially get thousands of people a day in our city. It's wrong for those who are coming here like Commissioner Castro, and it's wrong for New Yorkers who are here," Adams told reporters.
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