Many migrants rush to get proper paperwork to navigate new curfew at respite centers

Dan Krauth Image
Monday, January 15, 2024
NYC imposes curfew on migrants in four shelters
Dan Krauth with the latest in Harlem on the migrant curfew that takes effect Tuesday.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Four centers are set to impose a new curfew Monday night for about 2,000 asylum seekers in New York City.

Many migrants like Edwin Mendoza say they are just learning about the new curfew through word of mouth. Now they're scrambling to get the proper paperwork to be allowed back in after returning from work.

Along with his wife and three children, Mendoza says he came to the city to escape gang violence in Ecuador three months ago.

The family has been living in Astoria at one of the four respite centers since arriving in New York.

Although Mendoza has been able to find a job as a delivery worker, the company wants him to work primarily at night, after the new 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew begins.

"Many of us who work in delivery work at night, so we can save money, so that later we can get an apartment or at least a room for the family," Mendoza said in Spanish.

With the new curfew, the city is now requiring all migrants to check in by 11 p.m. There are exceptions for things like work and medical appointments, but an approved pass is needed.

Mendoza is now rushing to try and get paperwork from his employer to prove he's working.

The curfew comes after neighbors in some communities complained of asylum seekers panhandling after hours, in some cases, knocking on doors asking for money.

Mayor Eric Adams said on the radio Monday morning that the city's homeless shelters already have the same curfew.

"We should not allow people to come at all hours of the night and we are going to continue to roll out," Adams said. "Our goal is not to harm communities."

Adams also said that all migrant shelters could have the same curfew soon.

Over the past year, close to 170,000 asylum seekers have traveled to the city, almost double the expected amount. At least 2,500 continue showing up each week.

When asked what his future holds in New York, Mendoza said it is to not be a burden, but rather to get documents, like a work permit, so he can create a home for his family.

The city says if anyone is caught violating the curfew three times within 30 days, they could be expelled from the shelter.

ALSO READ: Up Close: Mayor Adams on how the city will handle migrant crisis

On this episode of Up Close, NYC Mayor Eric Adams joins us to talk about the ongoing migrant crisis and what he hopes to accomplish in the rest of his term.


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