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Audio: As Right to Shelter Ends, Migrants Evicted from Shelters Get Caught In Confusing Cycles

The Bronx intersection of a reassignment center where migrants wait days for new shelters. (Credit: Gillian Goodman)

The Bronx intersection of a reassignment center where migrants wait days for new shelters. (Credit: Gillian Goodman)

 

As 60-day evictions have started taking effect at shelters across New York City, a wave of asylum seekers are sent to reassignment shelters looking for answers. They often emerge, days later, without any.

 

Asylum seekers were often given little instruction and no notice, with some migrants having to leave shelters at midnight or later with only an address to follow. And for some West African migrants, no translation was given for French or Arabic, leaving them further in the dark. 

 

A crowded reassignment center in the Bronx last month was the destination for hundreds of migrants, coming from Harlem, Brooklyn or Queens. Once they arrived, they found few answers. Ibrahima Sall spent days waiting at the center without cell phone access, after which he was sent back to his original shelter.

 

Another migrant, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, went three days without a bed, sleeping nights in the street. He is among the thousands of asylum seekers affected by one of the city’s newest policy changes, for whom stories like these have become routine. 

 

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About the author(s)

Gillian Goodman is a journalist based in New York covering everything from stripper unionizations to underground transportation networks.