Migrant advocates protest outside Gracie Mansion against push to end NYC’s right to shelter

Dozens of migrants and advocates protested outside Gracie Mansion Thursday as they demanded Mayor Eric Adams stop trying to nix New York City’s “right to shelter” law amid the ongoing asylum seeker crisis.

The protestors staged a “sleep in” — complete with tents and sleeping bags — outside Hizzoner’s official residence on the Upper East Side as they slammed his push to suspend the decades-old mandate that requires the city to provide a bed for anyone who asks for one.

Migrant advocates also took aim at Adams’ recently imposed 30- or 60-day shelter stay limits for asylum seekers as the city scrambles to find enough beds for the new arrivals in an already overburdened system.

“The shelter limits and threats to the city’s right to shelter imposed by this administration are appalling, illegal, and go against our city’s legacy of helping those in need and welcoming immigrants from all walks of life,” Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, told the crowd of roughly 50 rallygoers.

The Adams administration is currently challenging the “right to shelter” rule in the state Supreme Court, arguing the Big Apple is already at capacity due to the tens-of-thousands of migrants that have poured in. since spring 2022.

Roughly 50 migrant advocates staged a “sleep in” outside Gracie Mansion on Thursday.
Matthew McDermott
Migrant advocates also took aim at Adams’ recently imposed 30- or 60-day shelter stay limits for asylum seekers.
Matthew McDermott
The protestors, including many migrants, brandished signs calling on Adams to stop trying to nix the “right to shelter” law.
Matthew McDermott
Some protestors brandished signs reading “Immigrants are New York!”
Matthew McDermott

The protesters, however, insisted there were other avenues Gotham could pursue to combat the lack of bed space for migrants, including extending CityFHEPS housing vouchers to asylum seekers, that would also avoid the need for budget cuts to city-wide services.

Hizzoner, who announced a slew of budget cuts Thursday, has estimated the asylum seeker crisis will set the city back $12 billion over the next three fiscal years.

“We know that City FHEPS vouchers will save the city over $3 billion, ease the burden on our shelter system, while putting people on the path to stability,” Awawdeh said.

“It’s long past time that the mayor move away from the emergency response mentality he finds himself in, scapegoating immigrants for his inaction and move toward long-term solutions that will support asylum seekers and alleviate our historically overburdened shelter system.”