NYC’s Economic Recovery Further Burdened by Migrant Crisis

New York City’s claim as a “sanctuary city” may have worn out its welcome mat. Large waves of asylum seekers over that last several months has not only had an impact on the city’s budget, but its economy as well. The “right to shelter” agreement made by the city 40-years ago may no longer be sustainable, or as Governor Kathy Hochul said on September 21, 2023, “the right to shelter was ‘never meant to house the entire world.’” The offering of shelter on demand to anyone who asks for it has led to the closure of retailers in the area surrounding the 1,025-key Roosevelt Hotel which has been turned into a “welcome center” for migrants. Among the 16 retail spaces around the hotel’s ground level, nine are completely vacant, while at least two of the remaining stores have suffered steep drops in sales. In addition, the planned closure of two eateries by prominent restaurateur Danny Meyer at the Redbury Hotel in Manhattan was announced in August after the historic hotel became a migrant shelter. The volume of asylum seekers entering New York City has reached a level to create a national issue, putting the responsibility on the federal government to secure the border so that “no town in America is overwhelmed.”