The Bronx Defenders Condemns the Mayor’s Assault on the Right to Shelter for Families with Children


The Bronx, NY – The Bronx Defenders issued the following statement following a media availability yesterday where Mayor Adams announced a new 60-day shelter limit for migrant families and children: 

“The Mayor’s new shelter limit is cruel and inhumane. Not only will this new limit force the most vulnerable families and children in our City onto the streets – depriving them of a roof over their heads when school has just begun and winter approaches – but it is almost guaranteed to make them targets of the police, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This will only lead to more instability, more family separation, and greater suffering for families and children who deserve our care and support.  

“For decades, the federal government has implemented border policies and restricted access to services for migrants to deter people from coming to our country. And every time, these policies fail because the root causes of migration are not addressed by simply throwing more money at Border Patrol and erecting walls. Likewise, limiting access to the City’s shelter system, increasing surveillance of families through ACS and the police, and throwing up rhetorical walls by proclaiming we “don’t have any more room,” will not stop people from coming to New York City. 

“Rather than doubling down on this failed approach, the Mayor should invest in accessible, supportive, and affordable housing while expanding access to social services for New Yorkers in need. Anything less is to pit one group of New Yorkers against another.

“As public defenders who work closely with families and children in shelter every day, we have long seen how marginalized New Yorkers are punished rather than supported. Families and children deserve more from us. They deserve humane responses to complex challenges, not this cruel and inhumane assault on their rights.”