NATIONAL NEWS

Citing migrant influx, New York mayor asks court to suspend long-standing ‘right to shelter’

May 23, 2023, 4:18 PM

FILE - New York City Mayor Eric Adams listens to Gov. Kathy Hochul deliver her State of the State a...

FILE - New York City Mayor Eric Adams listens to Gov. Kathy Hochul deliver her State of the State address in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol on Jan. 10, 2023, in Albany, N.Y. On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, Adams asked a judge to temporarily set aside its long-standing “right to shelter” mandate, saying it could no longer meet its legal obligation to house every homeless person because of the arrival of tens of thousands of international migrants. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s mayor asked a judge Tuesday to temporarily set aside its long-standing “right to shelter” mandate, saying it could no longer meet its legal obligation to house every homeless person because of the arrival of tens of thousands of international migrants.

The right to shelter has been in place for more than four decades in the city, after a court in 1981 required the city to provide temporary shelter for every homeless person who asks for it. Other big U.S. cities don’t have such a rule.

But with the arrival of 70,000 asylum seekers since last spring, many of whom crossed into the U.S. from Mexico, the city has been challenged to find room for everyone in need of a temporary roof and bed.

“It is in the best interest of everyone, including those seeking to come to the United States, to be upfront that New York City cannot single-handedly provide care to everyone crossing our border,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.

“Being dishonest about this will only result in our system collapsing, and we need our government partners to know the truth and do their share,” said the mayor, a Democrat.

Adams said he was not seeking to permanently end the right to shelter but was seeking “clarity from the court.”

The proposal was condemned by some housing advocates, who said it could result in more people living outdoors.

Joe Loonam, housing campaign coordinator for the advocacy organization VOCAL-NY, said Adams wants “to end the right to shelter that has prevented New York City from following in the footsteps of places like LA and San Francisco where thousands of people are in horrendous conditions out on the street.”

New York’s shelter system is now filled to record levels. The city says it is currently providing housing for 93,000 people. In recent months it put some on cots in schools, and temporarily housed people in tents, a cruise ship terminal and a former police academy building.

In a letter to the deputy chief administrative judge for New York City Courts, the city’s lawyers asked for a change in the law that would allow officials to suspend the right to shelter when the Department of Homeless Services lacks the resources to house everyone safely.

Adams has sought financial help from the state and federal government and has been critical of President Joe Biden’s administration for not providing funding to care for migrants.

In recent weeks, the city has begun paying to house some asylum seekers at hotels in counties north of the city, but that action has stoked anger and accusations that the city was dumping its problems on other communities.

___________

Associated Press writer Deepti Hajela contributed to this report.

National News

Associated Press

Man gets life without parole in 1988 killing and sexual assault of woman in Boston

BOSTON (AP) — A man was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the killing of a woman whose body was found in the basement of a Boston building more than three decades ago. DNA evidence linked Carl Vega, 61, to the 1988 killing of 21-year-old Judy Chamberlain, prosecutors said. A maintenance worker discovered […]

8 minutes ago

FILE - U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., listens during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee...

Associated Press

Former University of Florida president will return on an interim basis Ben Sasse’s resignation

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A former University of Florida president will take back the role on an interim basis following ex-U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse’s unexpected announcement last week that he was stepping down from the job after his wife was diagnosed with epilepsy. The school’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to bring back Kent Fuchs, […]

31 minutes ago

FILE - United States' Jonathon Lillis (11) competes in a men's World Cup freestyle aerials event at...

Associated Press

Winter Olympians will compete at these 13 venues when the Games return to Salt Lake City in 2034

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Winter Olympics will make its grand return to Salt Lake City in 2034, the International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday, marking the success of Utah’s decades-long effort to preserve Olympic venues and retain public enthusiasm. Local leaders have had their sights set on hosting again — and becoming part of […]

32 minutes ago

Associated Press

Terminal at New York’s JFK Airport briefly evacuated because of escalator fire

NEW YORK (AP) — A terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport was briefly evacuated Wednesday because of an escalator fire, officials said. The fire at JFK’s Terminal 8 was reported at around 7 a.m., Fire Department of New York officials said. No injuries were reported. A spokesperson for the Port Authority of […]

2 hours ago

FILE - A Meta Portal Go is displayed during a preview of the Meta Store in Burlingame, Calif., on M...

Associated Press

Meta takes down thousands of Facebook accounts running sextortion scams from Nigeria

Meta says it has taken down about 63,000 Facebook accounts in Nigeria that were engaging in financial sextortion scams — along with groups and pages that were trying to organize, recruit and train new scammers. Sexual extortion, or sextortion, involves persuading a person to send explicit photos online and then threatening to make the images […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Trump and Harris hit campaign trail as Biden prepares to address the nation

After dropping out of the presidential race, Joe Biden will address the nation on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. Vice President Kamala Harris has accepted Biden’s endorsement and is building momentum ahead of the DNC in Chicago. On the campaign trail, Harris will head to the solidly Republican state of Indiana, and Donald Trump is […]

3 hours ago

Citing migrant influx, New York mayor asks court to suspend long-standing ‘right to shelter’