(NewsNation) — As the pandemic-era policy Title 42 is set to end, cities hundreds of miles away from the southern border are bracing for the arrival of more migrants.
Title 42 — a policy that allowed border officials to turn away migrants for public health reasons — is set to expire Thursday, and cities are bracing for an influx of migrants with limited housing prospects and few other resources.
Leaders in Chicago and New York have declared states of emergency in anticipation of a wave of new migrant arrivals starting this week.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued an emergency declaration this week in response to what her office called a “surge of new arrivals.”
On Tuesday, 48 people, mostly families, arrived in the city in Illinois on a bus sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Chicago has received more than 8,000 new arrivals since August, Lightfoot said.
“This humanitarian crisis has required collective and swift action, which is why the City has partnered with a variety of City departments, Aldermen, community-based organizations, and community leaders to identify sites to serve as temporary respite centers and temporary shelters to address this recent surge in new arrivals,” the mayor’s office said in a news release.
The way Chicago officials have managed the incoming migrant refugees has come under fire after reports some had to sleep on the floor of the city’s police districts.
Nearly 800 miles east, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul issued her own emergency declaration. The executive order announced Tuesday will trigger the deployment of more than $1 billion of support to New York City’s aid efforts, according to the governor’s official statement.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams had previously issued a similar order. Recently, however, city officials have begun outreach to asylum seekers who are already living in shelters and humanitarian relief centers. Adams hopes to move those individuals into temporary hotel housing in the coming weeks.
“For the past year, we have been asking the federal government for support as we respond to this humanitarian crisis,” said Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro. “As asylum seekers continue to arrive to New York City seeking refuge, the city is continuing to respond.”
To date, the city has opened 122 hotels as emergency shelters and eight humanitarian relief centers. Officials have also helped enroll asylum-seeking children in public schools.
Elsewhere, cities such as Boston and Washington haven’t declared emergencies, but nonetheless are grappling to provide shelter and aid.
Migrant families have continued to arrive in D.C. on buses from Arizona and Texas, but temporary lodging space has run out, the Washington Post reported, citing the city’s Department of Human Services.
As a result, officials have stopped placing migrant families in hotels.
Boston is facing a similar challenge as migrant aid groups struggle to keep up with demand.
The shelters are overflowing, leaving state officials to place nearly 900 families, including migrants and homeless Massachusetts residents, in hotels, the Boston Globe reported Tuesday.