On Oct. 16, 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a new migrant eviction policy which forces migrant families to vacate their current shelter every 60 days and either find a residence outside the city’s shelter system or reapply for shelter. This week the city started enforcing those evictions against more than 4,000 families who were issued notices to date. The policy is already inflicting a tremendous hardship on children who have just begun acclimating to their new schools. There are currently 33,000 migrant children enrolled in the New York City school system.
Approximately two-thirds of migrant families—over 8,000—live in shelters overseen by the city’s Department of Homeless Services. These families are currently exempt from eviction because the city needs a waiver from New York State to carry out the policy, which the Adams administration is fighting to acquire. The remaining families, approximately 4,200, live in shelters called Humanitarian Resource and Relief Centers administered by the city’s Health and Hospitals system and are not exempt from eviction. Parents are being forced to pull their children out of school—children already traumatized by the long journey from their native countries—and reapply for shelter, with no idea as to where they’ll be placed. For the most part, children will be forced to acclimatize to a new school in the middle of the school year.