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‘Out Of Room’: New York City Is Literally Paying For Migrants To Leave, But Many Refuse To Go

(Jennie Taer//Daily Caller News Foundation)

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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  • Migrants who are being turned away from New York City shelters are being given the option to leave at the city’s expense, but dozens told the Daily Caller News Foundation they do not intend to leave.
  • The city recently established a reticketing center for migrants where they can get free, one-way plane tickets to another location.
  • “I already started my asylum process. Besides, as a gay, I don’t want to continue suffering. The life of a gay and immigrant is not easy,” Susej, a Venezuelan migrant, told the DCNF.

New York City is trying to expel migrants by offering them plane tickets to leave for other states, or places outside of the country, but many of them don’t want to leave, according to dozens of migrants the Daily Caller News Foundation interviewed.

Migrants entering the reticketing center, which the city recently established to help migrants leave the area, told the DCNF that they don’t want to go elsewhere because they came to New York City for the resources it provides as a sanctuary city. The reticketing center is located in the since-closed St. Brigid School in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where migrants can get a free, one-way ticket to the location of their choice provided by the city government. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Illegal Venezuelan Migrants Continue To Pour Into US Despite Biden Admin Beginning Deportation Flights)

“Visit the center where you can be provided with a ticket to travel anywhere,” a city flyer that was distributed to migrants and shown to the DCNF read.

Susej, a Venezuelan migrant, told the DCNF that he does not plan to leave the city despite the possibility of soon facing eviction. He is currently staying in a hostel until Nov. 12, but may “have to sleep on the street” if he cannot find another shelter, he said.

“I already started my asylum process. Besides, as a gay, I don’t want to continue suffering. The life of a gay and immigrant is not easy,” Susej said. “If I had a job, I wouldn’t bother any shelter because I know that as immigrants we are already one more nuisance because of the bad people in my country who do bad acts that make us look bad, when in reality not all of us are doing wrong.”

A second migrant from Venezuela has been sleeping on the subway because he was told there was no shelter for him, but he still wants to stay in the city, he told the DCNF. Others were being turned away at the reticketing center due to lack of shelter, as well.

A migrant from Turkey, who asked to remain anonymous due to threats in his home country, told the DCNF that he’s choosing to stay in the hopes that the sanctuary city will help him get his driver’s license and work.

“My goal is … to become a truck driver and work long distances,” he said. “I don’t feel safe if I return to my country. That’s why I came. I took refuge in the U.S., it is not that easy to leave.”

“It makes us feels sad that they don’t want us,” the migrant added, saying he’d rather serve the U.S. military than that of Turkey.

The migrants who spoke to the DCNF came from all over the world, including China, Morocco, Nigeria, Mauritania, Senegal, Turkey, Russia, Venezuela, Chile, Honduras and Ecuador. Some of them had been in New York City for months, and others for days.

(Jennie Taer//Daily Caller News Foundation)

A Moroccan migrant holds up his instructions to report to a “reticketing center” in NYC (Jennie Taer//Daily Caller News Foundation)

New York City sees providing one-way airline tickets as a cheaper solution than sheltering migrants long-term, as it has cared for roughly 130,000 migrants since 2022, according to Politico. The city is evicting some migrants out of shelters after 30 days, The City reported.

New York City deployed flyers to the southern border over the summer to send the message that it has run out of room for migrants. The flyers asked migrants to consider choosing another city to travel to.

“When you are out of room, that means you’re out of room,” Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently told reporters. “Every year, my relatives show up for Thanksgiving, and they want to all sleep at my house. There’s no more room. That’s where we are right now.”

Out of dozens of migrants the DCNF talked to outside of the reticketing center, only three said that they were choosing to leave New York City for Boston, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

“No one cares about our problems,” Jesus from Venezuela told the DCNF after arriving in Washington D.C., through the reticketing process. “Yesterday, I stayed in a hospital, I have nowhere to be.”

The number of illegal migrants that got into the U.S. in fiscal year 2023 surpassed the populations of 11 states, a recent DCNF review of federal data found.

“There aren’t resources here. I like New York, but there’s not much work here,” a migrant from Honduras named Antonio, who was heading to New Jersey, told the DCNF.

Adam’s office didn’t respond to the DCNF’s request for comment and didn’t respond to a question about how many migrants chose to be reticketed.

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