Liberal City Imposes Curfew To Curb Migrant Panhandling

( – New York City’s migrant crisis took a controversial turn as Mayor Eric Adams rolled out the first major policy aimed at addressing growing concerns over panhandling. Four migrant respite centers across the city will be subject to nightly curfews, requiring asylum seekers to stay inside from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The move comes in response to mounting complaints from residents who say they’ve been inundated with desperate migrants begging for food and money outside their homes. Councilwoman Joann Ariola, representing one of the affected communities, described the situation as “alarming” and called the curfews “only the first step.”

The curfews, mirroring those in existing homeless shelters, will initially apply to four specific centers: the Judo and JFK centers in Queens, the Stockton Center in Brooklyn, and the Lincoln Manhattan Center in Manhattan. Exceptions for work, school, and medical appointments will be made, with permits required for authorized absences.

Mayor Adams, facing pressure to find solutions to the influx of migrants, framed the curfews as a measure to “prioritize the health and safety of both migrants in our care and longtime New Yorkers.” City Hall officials emphasized that the policy is “part of an ongoing process.” They hinted at expanding the curfews to other shelters and tent cities, known as HERRCs.

The HERRC at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn has become a focal point of residents’ anxieties. Its remote location has prompted many migrants to panhandle locally, further fueling concerns about public safety. Earlier this month, a fatal stabbing at the Randall’s Island tent city underscored the potential downsides of these temporary housing solutions.

While the curfews offer a concrete step towards addressing immediate concerns, New York City’s “right-to-shelter” policy remains fiercely debated. Councilwoman Ariola, along with other critics, believes the city should end its legal obligation to provide shelter to all asylum seekers and instead focus on “stopping the flow” of migrants into the city.

Advocacy groups, however, condemn the curfews as inhumane and ineffective. They argue that restricting movements will exacerbate anxieties and ultimately do little to solve the systemic challenges driving the crisis.

Copyright 2024,