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NYC leaders push back on new 30-day shelter limit for some asylum seekers. Migrants say they feel "hopeless."

New 30-day shelter limit for migrants in NYC met with some pushback
New 30-day shelter limit for migrants in NYC met with some pushback 02:20

NEW YORK -- Some New York City leaders are pushing back on the mayor's new policy to permanently evict single asylum seekers over the age of 24 from shelters after 30 days.

The policy started last week.

Asylum seekers can only seek an extension under what the city calls "extenuating circumstances." Those circumstances include a serious medical procedure within 30 days, plans to leave the city within 30 days or a signed apartment lease.

Single asylum seekers ages 18-24 and families with children can stay for 60 days. Of the 65,000 migrants in the city's care, 15,000 are single males.

A City Hall spokesperson said in part, "While these policies will require some adaptation, they will help migrants take the next steps in their journeys, reduce the significant strain on our shelter system, and enable us to continue providing essential services to all New Yorkers."

A spokesperson adds more than 65% of migrants have moved out of the shelter system, and says 30-day and 60-day policies have been key tools to facilitate that.

The city says in major cities like Chicago, the limit is 60 days and there's no opportunity to apply for an extension. In Denver, the limit is one to three days.

Rally held against 30-day shelter policy for asylum seekers

A rally Wednesday organized by the New York Immigration Coalition called on the New York City Council to pass the Stop Shelter Evictions Act.

Barry says he arrived in New York from Africa in October, fleeing unsafe conditions from a military coup. Through a translator, he says now, "We feel hopeless."

He's one of hundreds of migrants who received a permanent 30-day eviction notice from city-provided housing.

"We're unable to sleep due to the new regulations that have been established in the shelters. We are being expelled on a daily basis," Barry said through a translator. "We don't wanna find ourselves homeless, being that we are unable to go to the process to receive working permits."

Councilmember Shahana Hanif says she is seeing an uptick in homelessness, and she believes this new policy is partly to blame.

"Dozens and dozens of mosques have opened up their spaces as shelter. They're not up to code," she said.

The Legal Aid Society tells CBS New York anyone who has come to them for help with an eviction notice so far has been able to get an extension.

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