Curfew goes into effect at 20 shelters housing asylum seekers in NYC

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Monday, February 12, 2024
Curfew goes into effect at 20 more migrant shelters in NYC
N.J. Burkett has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City is expanding a curfew to approximately 3,600 migrants at 20 more shelters on Monday.

The city is imposing the rules that migrants will no longer be able to leave or enter the shelters between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Though it is not clear why this handful of shelters was selected for the curfew, it could have to do with the number of people staying there. This group of shelters is mostly made up of small hotels.

City officials initially placed a curfew on four shelters last month in response to neighborhood complaints.

City Hall says the curfew is being implemented for the health and safety of the migrants in the city's care, and for New Yorkers in surrounding communities. A statement from New York City Hall says the city is implementing curfews at smaller, HPD-run sites "to allow for more efficient capacity management for migrants in the city's care."

The additional curfews come after a spate of migrant-related violence and crime has prompted increasingly dire rhetoric from city and police officials.

A 15-year-old teen from Venezuela was arrested Friday for opening fire in Times Square while fleeing from police after being stopped by security for suspected shoplifting. The shooting injured a tourist from Brazil.

A video showing a group of migrants brawling with police in Times Square last month also went viral and led to several arrests.

Eyewitness News spoke to some migrants who will be impacted by the new curfew, and they said they do not mind the new rule as long as those who have work can stay out past 11 p.m., which they can.

Many of the migrants said they have young children, and if they are not working, they are usually asleep by 11 p.m. anyway, so they do not feel affected by the new policy.

Neighbors of one of the small hotels housing migrants in Hell's Kitchen on West 46th Street said they have not had any issues with migrant safety.

If anything, residents say they are concerned for the safety of the migrants in an area that usually sees a lot of nightlife traffic, which means noise and drinking and partying -- from people who are not migrants.

"I don't see how that, when people are drinking, and they're high, that necessarily mixes with a family with small children, who have just come to the city," said Mike Murphy, who lives near a migrant shelter.

Some residents even welcome the migrants.

"We are a nation of immigrants. There are 100 reasons why we need them. This doesn't bother us. This is what makes our country wonderful, and the rest of the nation needs to understand that. As long as we have room, that's fine," said Pamela Mincey, who lives near a migrant shelter.

There are more than 200 emergency shelters housing migrants across the city.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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