City Imposes Curfew at Four Migrant Shelters

City Imposes Curfew at Four Migrant Shelters

By Michael V. Cusenza

Responding to skyrocketing complaints about migrant panhandling, the City this week imposed a curfew at four shelters, including two in Queens.

Mayor Eric Adams said the curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. will cover nearly 2,000 migrants.

The two borough shelters in the curfew program are the respite center at John F. Kennedy International Airport and a recently opened facility on 35th Avenue in Astoria.

“I don’t know if we’re putting them up yet, but we’re putting up signs to explain what is the code of conduct of, you know, this system was built from ground up. And so the thought of a curfew is something that we think is important because we have to make sure that we give people what our expectations are and they can respect the rights of others who are there,” Adams said. “And you know, we’re looking to, you know, to make sure that we have a curfew. I ideally believe it should be in all of our systems.”

City Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol said curfews during the migrant crisis aren’t a novelty.

“We had curfews at a number of our sites over the summer. It is something that we have done in the past and we’re implementing at some of our sites now as well,” he said.

Adams said the City has gotten a hold of the issue.

“I saw around my sixth or seventh trip that we were not going to get the revenue that we wanted from Washington. There was a slow pace to this. So, we kicked in a two pronged plan. Number one, we had to project what it was going to cost. We couldn’t wait until the time of the budget and all of a sudden said, oops, we didn’t project. We did,” Adams said. “The second time, Deputy Mayor Williams Isom and Chief of Staff Joseph, they went in and kicked in a real plan of getting people out of the system. We were able to get 70 percent of people out of the system by using a host of methods: 30 days, reticketing, connecting people, intense care. And so that’s the real story that people are missing.

So, this was smart fiscal management and not being reckless during this particular time. We still need help, we’re not out of the woods, we’re still getting thousands of people a week. It’s just that we’re successfully getting people out of the system. If we would have sat on our hands, we would have had 168,000 people in our system that would have really ballooned this budget. It’s the combination of what the team did and what Jacques did that this is just a successful management of the city’s resources and a crisis at the same time.”

City Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park) said that curfews should be instituted at all migrant facilities.

“If our homeless New Yorkers are given curfews in city-run shelters, migrants should be given the same,” she added.


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