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State court tells New York City to spell out needs in migrant crisis

By Rachel Nostrant

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York State Supreme Court judge on Friday ordered the City of New York to clarify what it needs from the state to solve its migrant housing crisis, ramping up pressure on authorities who struggle to respond as thousands of migrants seek refuge in the city.

The order from New York State Supreme Court Justice Erika Edwards came after a hearing the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless had asked the court to hold Friday, citing a 1981 consent decree under of which the city and the state must take care of people in need .

By intervening, the court is, in effect, urging that the city and state can no longer allow asylum seekers to sleep on sidewalks or languish in days-long intake processing lines.

New York City has declared a state of emergency in response to tens of thousands of migrants who have poured into the city, some on buses from states along the southern US border in a political dispute over border security.

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Edwards gave the city until Wednesday to identify state facilities and resources needed to provide appropriate shelter. The state then has until August 15 to respond.

“We are happy with this, because I don’t believe that governor [Kathy] Hochul is taking this situation seriously in every way,” Dave Giffin, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, told Reuters.

Following the court order, the New York mayor’s office said the city needed state and federal aid to handle a crisis, without giving details.

“We need all of our partners to treat this crisis as the emergency that it is, rather than leave New York City to provide shelter and care for more than 95,000 asylum seekers ourselves,” Mayor Eric Adams’ office said. said.

“As we have been warning for months, our shelter system has collapsed as the population has more than doubled in one year.”

The governor’s office declined to comment on pending litigation, but cited Hochul’s comments this week about the support she has provided, including offering a former psychiatric facility that could be used as a shelter.

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(Reporting by Rachel Nostrant; editing by Donna Bryson and Deepa Babington)

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