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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The pouring number of Migrants in New York City

Migrants out on the streets because they don’t have places to stay in

As we are in the midst of this frigid weather, New York is coping with the mass number of migrants coming into the city. Sam Wold, History & Social Sciences Teacher, explained about this crisis as governors in Texas, Florida, and other states relayed their migrants to New York City and Chicago as they are recognized – often polically – as “Sanctuary cities.” 


“Texas Border is a huge border, and it also has a river flowing between it”, therefore there are areas that people can sneak into America without getting caught by border protection,” Wold explained. “It is dangerous and risky, but a lot of migrants are crossing the border to find safety from the gang, violence, drugs from where they come from.” 


The biggest problem with the puring number of migrants are due to the economic factors. The cost of providing shelter and other assistance to incoming migrants is now in the billions and New York is struggling to control a large influx of people. So far in 2023, New York City has spent 1.45 billion dollars to help migrants. Most costs went into helping migrants get shelter and food services. As the number of migrants does not appear to slow down, there needs to be a response to this crisis. Wold mentioned that due to the large number of migrants, some migrants are “held at bus stops or even put on buses.” 


Violence that followed the migrant issue was also one of the problems that were mentioned. However, Wold explained that this is actually misleading. According to Wold, “There is actually less crime that is committed by the migrants compared to the crime committed by the US citizens.” He added that “there is of course more crime following with the increase in migrants since there is more opportunities for crimes [to occur], but it is less likely for migrants to commit crime since they get deported immediately if they do so.”


Though the government has dedicated itself to alleviating the shelter costs, the issues regarding a lack of beds and housing are consistently intensified as the migrant population increases. It has become the new normal for the NYC government to deal with feeding and providing shelters for incoming migrants every day. Since the start of this crisis, the vacancy rate of shelters dropped below 1 percent while the population of homeless people peaked. A large number of migrants flooded the street for a place to rest. To deal with this issue, hotels were converted to shelters, and tent dormitories were built to shelter people. 


The challenges persisted even if a migrant was placed in a shelter. To reduce the cost, the conditions of the shelters became harsh. People would stay in the shelter for extended periods as they must settle down by legally finding a job that allows them to pay the high rent in NYC. The situation is overwhelming for the offices responsible for homelessness and cost management. The resources are extremely limited as more individuals are coming in. Wold suggested that the main problem is with the immigration law and that the government needs to fix it in order to achieve a solution to this issue. More importantly, people need to look at the countries that these migrants are coming from, and if the danger in those areas can be addressed, then the whole migrant crisis can be alleviated. 

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