New York City is now offering migrants a one-way plane ticket out of town, the city’s latest frantic attempt to persuade a flood of new migrants not to settle in the city.
The city has been sending migrants who were booted from city shelters to a Manhattan “reticketing” office devoted to booking plane tickets to anywhere in the world. Some migrants have chosen to fly to destinations like Colombia or Morocco.
“With no sign of a decompression strategy in the near future, we have established a reticketing center for migrants,” City Hall spokesperson Kayla Mamelak told Politico. “Here, the city will redouble efforts to purchase tickets for migrants to help them take the next steps in their journeys.”
In recent weeks, Mayor Eric Adams has repeatedly warned that the city is out of room.
“When you are out of room, that means you’re out of room,” Adams said on Tuesday. “Every year, my relatives show up for Thanksgiving, and they want to all sleep at my house. There’s no more room. That’s where we are right now.”
New York City is attempting to metabolize the tens of thousands of illegal migrants who have streamed into the city over the past year.
Since last year, more than 130,000 migrants have arrived, many of whom are still being housed on the city’s dime, causing New York City’s homeless shelters to reach their limits and forcing the city to open new facilities.
Recently, the number of arrivals has ticked up even more, with 600 migrants arriving in New York every day.
Over the summer, the city even resorted to sending flyers to the southern border warning migrants that there is “no guarantee” of shelter if they come to New York and encouraging them to pick a different city.
The city has already spent more than $1.2 billion on the migrants and is projected to spend up to $5 billion.
“This issue will destroy New York City,” Adams said last month. “We’re getting 10,000 migrants a month. … Every community in this city is going to be impacted.”
Earlier this month, the city started limiting migrant family shelter stays, requiring families with children to reapply for housing in the city’s shelter system every 60 days. The move is meant to encourage recently arrived migrants to find new housing.
A similar policy is already in place for single adult migrants, who must reapply for shelter housing every 30 days.
The move appears to be working — less than 20% of migrants who received vacate notices have reapplied for shelter.
Meanwhile, Adams is trying to suspend the city’s obligation to provide shelter to anyone who wants it, known as “right to shelter.” City Hall’s attorneys are fighting the issue in Manhattan Supreme Court.
If the “right to shelter” obligation is not suspended, the city must continue to find a place for any migrants who reapply for shelter.
In response to the lack of space, the city has opened more than 200 emergency shelters with plans to open at least one huge “semi-congregate” facility that will house 500 families, which could conflict with state regulations that each household get a separate room.