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Advocates call for city to recognize asylum seeker relief centers as shelters

City officials say that over 57,000 asylum seekers are currently under the city’s care.

News 12 Staff

Aug 8, 2023, 9:21 PM

Updated 342 days ago

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Advocates say that asylum seekers aren’t being afforded an opportunity due to not being able to use their temporary place of residence as a home address.  
The New York Immigration Coalition is pushing for Mayor Eric Adams to allow respites and relief centers to be designated as shelters, since that would allow asylum seekers to list their place of asylum as their home address.  
“What happens there is, they don’t have the same rights and same services that are afforded to people in DHS (Department of Homeland Security) shelters,” said Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the NY Immigration Coalition.  
The coalition’s push came after Adams recently announced the construction of a new emergency relief center that is being built on Randall’s Island. City officials say that over 57,000 asylum seekers are currently under the city’s care, and the New York Immigration Coalition wants to ensure they get a fair chance to get their lives up and running.  
“For us, it’s moreso ensuring that there is a level playing field that people are able to get the same rights… because they have a mailing address, they’re able to get their IDNYC as well as other city services,” said Awawdeh.  
News 12 reached out to the mayor’s office and the Office of Emergency Management and are awaiting responses.  


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