Winter Woes: Democratic Cities Struggle To Shelter Southern Border Migrants Amid Freezing Temperatures

Written By BlabberBuzz | Saturday, 25 November 2023 02:30 PM
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Democratic-led cities in New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts, which have been receiving migrants from the Southern border since 2021, are expressing concerns about their ability to provide adequate housing during the winter months.

These cities have been grappling with an influx of migrants, a situation that has strained their infrastructure. The surge in migrant crossings began last year, with Republican-led states opting to transport them to Democratic-led cities.

City officials are now warning of their inability to house migrants during the harsh winter and are calling for federal funding to assist, as reported by Politico.

Kayla Mamelak Altus, a spokesperson for Democratic Mayor Eric Adams of New York City, emphasized the urgency of the situation in a statement to Politico. "As the temperature starts to drop, it is crucial — now more than ever — that the federal government finish the job they started. We need meaningful financial help and a national decompression strategy. New York City cannot continue to manage a national crisis almost entirely on its own."

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In an attempt to address the housing crisis, New York City officials have set up large tent-based camps for migrants. However, these makeshift shelters are unlikely to offer adequate protection against the cold weather, particularly in January, when the mean temperature is 33.7°F, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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Murad Awawdeh, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, expressed his concerns to Politico, stating, "I think for us it really is everything coming to bear at a time when the weather is really cold."

In Chicago, the administration of Democratic Mayor Brandon Johnson has faced criticism from residents over the influx of migrants. Racial tensions between black citizens and migrants from other countries are further complicating efforts to prepare for the city's winter, where the mean temperature is 25.6°F, according to the NOAA.

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Alderperson Ronnie Mosley, who represents the heavily black South Side of Chicago, voiced his constituents' concerns to Politico, "Residents are seeing that after all this time of promising something for us, nothing has come of it. Now you have folks who have just come to this country, and they’re being serviced."

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Despite local opposition, senior Democratic officials have pledged to support migrants. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois stated, "The state that took my ancestors in fleeing from pogroms in Ukraine will not allow asylum seekers to freeze to death on our doorsteps," as reported by Politico.

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In Massachusetts, a right-to-shelter law allows many homeless individuals to access state-funded housing. However, after facilities reached capacity on Nov. 9, new applicants have been waitlisted, raising concerns among activists about the impending winter. Andrea Park of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute expressed her worries to Politico, "I think that we’re going to see some very desperate situations."

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