Don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here: NYC setting up ‘reticketing center for migrants’

New York City has reportedly set up a “reticketing center” where migrants may pick up a free one-way airplane ticket to any destination they desire.

“With no sign of a decompression strategy in the near future, we have established a reticketing center for migrants. Here, the city will redouble efforts to purchase tickets for migrants to help them take the next steps in their journeys,” City Hall spokesperson Kayla Mamelak said in a statement Friday, according to Politico.

It’s a desperate move designed to alleviate the stress that the city is facing from the influx of so many migrants over the past couple of months. But it’s also designed to help the migrants reach their family members before winter arrives and they’re stuck out on the streets.

“I cannot say this enough. You know, we are out of the room. And it’s not ‘if’ people will be sleeping on the streets, it’s when. We are at full capacity,” Mayor Eric Adams told reporters on Tuesday, according to a transcript.

“When you are out of room, that means you’re out of room. 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,” he added.

The problem, however, is that the migrants who are being directed to the “reticketing center” evidently aren’t being told what the office’s purpose is.

Speaking with the New York Post, for example, several migrants who were spotted outside the “reticketing center” on Friday said that they were led to believe that the office would offer them shelter or something similar.

“They didn’t tell me anything. They discharged me and said to go to this address. I expected when they gave me this address I was going to stay here for a little while until I find a solution,” one migrant said.

One group of four migrants added that they came to the office after being booted from a shelter but didn’t have anywhere they wanted to be flown.

“We are not going anywhere else. They have no rooms for us or anything … just the tickets. They can’t help with anything else. We are worried because we’ve been sleeping in the streets for four days,” one of the four said.

Another migrant said he turned down a plane ticket offer because he’s expecting to receive a work permit within a month.

It’s because of factors like this — the migrants not even knowing what’s going on — that some critics have expressed criticism toward the “reticketing” plan.

“What we’ve witnessed from this administration — even if they’re not directly saying ‘you’ve got to get out of here’ — is that they’ve consistently created hysteria and chaos and confusion and have not used a tone of inclusivity and welcome,” City Council member Shahana Hanif, a Democrat, reportedly said in an interview.

Murad Awawdeh, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, has also been critical of  the plan, reportedly saying it “doesn’t make any sense for reticketing to be the main prime focus.”

“It’s unconscionable that this is the tone and tact this administration is taking when immigrants have been the lifeline and lifeblood of this city for centuries,” he added.

In fairness, the Adams administration appears to be trying its best given the circumstances. For instance, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the administration is considering handing out tents to the migrants.

“If the flow continues at 3-4k a week, we are going to have to use draconian measures. Our goal is to find ways not to get to that point, but I would be dishonest if I said it is not on the table. We are out of room, and the cost is beyond sustainable,” Adams later told Bloomberg.

Also, Adams continues to bash President Joe Biden and his administration for their lack of effort toward resolving this crisis.

“On this issue, I believe the White House is wrong,” Adams told Semafor’s Ben Smith earlier this month.

Though in fairness, he was less critical of the administration over its open-borders policy — which is at the root of the migrant crisis — and more critical of the administration for not giving him enough money to deal with the crisis.

“First of all, right now it’s coming out of the pockets of New York City taxpayers, we need to understand that. We received a little over $100 million from the federal government, the rest is coming from New York City taxpayers,” Adams said.

“And that means giving money to struggling low-income New Yorkers. All those programs we put in place to finally allow New Yorkers to move out of systemic poverty are now being challenged,” he added.


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Vivek Saxena


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