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HomeNewsMigrants Remain Homeless in Sanctuary Cities Amid Freezing Temps and Winter Storms

Migrants Remain Homeless in Sanctuary Cities Amid Freezing Temps and Winter Storms

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Migrants in a long queue waiting to get accommodation
Source: Time/X

The migrant crisis in U.S. sanctuary cities is taking on a new form this January. With the impending threat of a severe winter, politicians are looking for ways out of the shelter deficit. Several migrants stay in public and open places, exposing them to the extreme cold of winter storms. 

Administrators in sanctuary cities like New York City and Chicago are under pressure to provide appropriate shelters for asylum seekers. Last Fall, hardy migrants and those without children could improvise and make do with whatever available space.

So, many migrants slept on street curbs, some in tents at public parks, and some at airports. However, with the cold storms of winter, it is no longer business as usual.

Chicago and New York City remain the most affected by the inability to provide winter shelters for asylum seekers. Local authorities in these two cities are trying to process and accommodate the already overwhelming number of migrants on their hands. Still, states on the southern border continue bussing asylum seekers to the sanctuary cities.

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So far, Chicago has received about 25,017 migrants, while NYC is struggling to accommodate 116,102 of them. These populations of asylum seekers are the number that have crossed the US-Mexico border since 2022.

ALSO READ: Enraged Parents Blame Migrants Evacuated to NYC High School for Displacing Students

Denver is facing a similar challenge: providing winter accommodation for asylum seekers. In each of the three cities mentioned so far, lack of financial injection and accommodation logistics are administrators’ major challenges. Unfortunately, the federal government is largely unresponsive to their cries for support. 

For example, Mayor Eric Adams of New York City is trying to solve the two bottlenecks. First, he is ruling to cut costs on all budget allocations. However, it can be a bit tough to handle thousands of migrants who are vying for limited accommodation. 

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The incoming winter storms seem to stoke desperation among the asylum seekers. Just last week, a free-for-all involving about 300 migrants broke out. Law enforcement had to intervene, and some arrests were made. 

During an interview, a migrant who was an eyewitness to the fight explained that it started when a man tried to jump in a queue. Apparently, migrants had been queueing all day outside the East Village Migrant Center.

The queue was so long that it snaked around multiple buildings. In fact, some of these migrants have been waiting up to a month just to get a bed at the retake center. 

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ALSO READ: Eric Adams Accuses New York Immigrants of Committing Crimes

Unfortunately, for migrants who manage to secure accommodation, it is a pyrrhic victory. This is because the migrant welfare in some of the public shelters is not the best anyone would ask for. For example, some migrants wield knives, steal phones, and stoke fights in the same shelters that thousands struggle to get. 

However, these in-shelter problems are nowhere near the top of city administrators’ priority lists. Instead, they delegate the oversight of these facilities to managers. 

In NYC, the New York Immigration Coalition declared code blue. This means there’s an aggressive drive to get migrants off the cold streets and prevent any deaths from the winter frost. 

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