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New York City Mayor Eric Adams backtracked on Thursday, denying that his administration would be “reassessing” the right to shelter for asylum seekers amid an influx of 11,000 migrants since May.
On Wednesday, Adams told reporters that New York City’s shelter system was at its “breaking point,” adding that the “city’s prior practices, which never contemplated the busing of thousands of people into New York City, must be reassessed.”
The remark sparked reports suggesting he was considering the 1981 “right to shelter” agreement guaranteeing anyone without a place to sleep a bed in New York City.
“Every asylum seeker that comes to New York will have shelter. By law, we’re required, and we’re going to do that,” Adams said on Thursday. “This goes beyond that. What you see today, we’re not stopping at the bare minimum of right to shelter. We’re going beyond that to make sure people have a right to a decent life here in our city. And so we’re going to meet our challenge if it means opening more emergency shelters.”
Chief counsel to the mayor, Brendan McGuire, said the right to shelter was developed for the average homeless population, not an influx of migrants.
After a tour of a new asylum seekers navigation resource center, Adams ripped Texas Gov. Greg Abbotts’ busing of migrants, as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sending two planes of illegal immigrants to another “sanctuary destination” of the Massachusetts island Martha’s Vineyard.
Adams said that he has not received information about similar planes of illegal immigrants arriving at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport or LaGuardia Airport.
“The Republican Party, they have created a blueprint that all of them are starting to follow. It’s inhumane,” Adams said. “For the governor to send immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard without any coordination, it’s just creating a real crisis that we shared to our lawmakers in Washington. This is a blueprint that you’re going to see unfolding.”