NYC Posts Fliers Advising Illegal Immigrants that the Sanctuary City Has No More Room 

Jim Vallee /
Jim Vallee /

New York City is laying out the “unwelcome mat” for illegal immigrants as the self-proclaimed “sanctuary city” quickly runs out of resources to handle the ongoing flood of needy border dashers. 

Recently, NYC Mayor Eric Adams authorized fliers to be handed out to incoming illegal immigrants, warning that there is no room for them in his city. The flier attempts to dissuade new arrivals from choosing New York City, warning that “there is no guarantee we will be able to provide shelter and services to new arrivals.” 

In a surprising twist, Adams points out the overwhelming failures of his own city, warning asylum seekers that “housing in NYC is very expensive” and “the cost of food, transportation, and other necessities in NYC is the highest in the United States.” 

The flier concludes with a stark recommendation: “Please consider another city as you make your decision about where to settle in the U.S.” 

Adams defended his rejection of illegal immigrants, pointing out that there are currently an estimated 55,000 of them under the city’s care. He points out another massive shortcoming in his own city when he noted that, in addition to the asylum seekers, the city is sheltering 105,000 homeless. 

NYC comptroller Brad Lander claims that the fliers are at odds with “the defining role of New York as a beacon of promise inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty,” but Adams is insistent that migrants look elsewhere for help. 

“We have [been] a sanctuary city for over 40 years, and when you think about … the law that was put in place or the agreement that was put in place, no one anticipated having 4,200 people come in one week to the city,” Adams said. 

Manuel Castro, NYC’s Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, warned about the influx of illegal immigrants looking to take advantage of the city’s sanctuary status. In May, he noted, “We’re seeing 800 to 1,000 people arrive, right, in recent days, when they arrive in multiple buses, and then by airlines, we can see over 1,000 people a day arrive.” 

Adams has continued to push migrants out of the city and into surrounding counties, but the counties are having none of it. Thirty counties in the state issued emergency orders designed to block Adams and stop the invasion of their own districts. Currently, New York City is involved in a lawsuit with all thirty of the counties. In June, the City received a victory when a Southern District judge issued a preliminary injunction invalidating the emergency orders, citing that they were violating the migrant’s Fourth Amendment rights. 

Adams has pleaded with the Biden administration to send financial help. “If we do not get these urgently needed resources, we may struggle to provide the proper level of support our clients deserve while also facing challenges as we serve both a rapidly growing shelter population and new clients who are seeking asylum.” 

The sanctuary city isn’t just turning away incoming illegal immigrants, however. It’s also actively booting them out of their temporary housing and requiring them to re-apply. Those affected will have sixty days to find new housing or be out on the streets. City officials note that this new policy only affects individuals, not families. 

Even when the individual reapplies for housing, there is no guarantee that arrangements can be made.  

Officials note, “The city has made every effort to continue serving the more than 90,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in New York City since last spring, but with an average of 300-500 people still arriving each day, and more than 54,800 migrants still in the city’s care, New York City is at capacity.” 

Jumaane Williams, a public advocate for NYC, is frustrated by the new policy. “The right to shelter has been in place for over 30 years, and that right does not simply expire after 60 days in the face of a crisis,” he said. 

New York City, with its cumbersome tax burden, out-of-control crime, and sky-high cost of living, has drawn a lot of attention for the sheer numbers of residents fleeing to more wallet-friendly states such as Texas and Florida. Polling in April revealed that 27% of those remaining are planning to move in the immediate future, 31% predict moving after retirement, and 30% wish they lived somewhere else but can’t make the change. 

If Mayor Adams waits just a little longer, he will have plenty of housing opportunities for his city’s new residents.