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Arctic Temperatures Causing Misery for U.S. Migrant Population

An arctic blast affecting much of the United States, particularly northern regions, is creating added misery and even life-threatening conditions for vast numbers of migrants lacking adequate shelter. As reported today by Axios, some cities have temporarily suspended their shelter eviction policies until warmer temperatures arrive. In Chicago, where a 60-day shelter limit was recently enacted, evictions won’t be enforced while arctic temperatures persist. Likewise, Denver has suspended its 14-day shelter limit. However, once temperatures warm up into the balmy thirties these cities will commence throwing migrants out onto the streets.

In New York City, those migrants already evicted from shelters are forced to wait in line each day outside processing centers to re-apply for shelter. Average wait time for placement is five days. Migrants are allowed to sleep in waiting rooms of the processing centers at night but are normally kicked out at 6:00 a.m., although City Hall has made the grand concession of allowing migrants to stay under Code Blue extreme weather conditions.

Most migrants currently housed in shelters or seeking shelter are from tropical or subtropical countries and have never experienced extreme cold. Many are ill-clothed, creating serious health risks. What further aggravates the problem is that during the winter months there is normally a decline in migrant border crossings. But according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, December 2023 broke the all-time record for most illegal migrant crossings at the southern border, with many of those migrants ending up in northern cities.