(The Center Square) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams has imposed curfews at “humanitarian” shelters in response to a migrant shooting incident in Times Square over the weekend.
Under the new rules, migrants staying at 20 shelters run by the city’s Housing Preservation and Development will have to be inside by 11 p.m. and remain there until 6 a.m., according to the Adams administration. The new rules will apply to more than 3,600 migrants, almost half of them being single, adult men, officials said.
The move comes in response to the arrest of a migrant teenager who allegedly wounded a tourist while robbing a sports store in Times Square. The suspect, Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, 15, of Venezuela, reportedly shot at NYPD officers who pursued him through the crowded streets. He was arrested on Sunday and charged with attempted murder, assault, attempted assault and criminal possession of a weapon at his arraignment, prosecutors said.
In a statement, a City Hall spokesperson said the curfews are similar to those in place at traditional city shelters and large-scale “respite sites” that serve migrants and longtime New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.
“This policy will allow for more efficient capacity management for migrants in the city’s care,” the statement read.
“New York City continues to lead the nation in managing this national humanitarian crisis, and that includes prioritizing the health and safety of both asylum seekers in our care and New Yorkers who live in the communities surrounding the emergency shelters we manage.”
NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban praised officers for tracking down the suspect, who was reportedly in tears when authorities took him into custody.
“If you think you attack a member of this department, if you think you could threaten the lives of the very people who keep us safe. If you think you could put others at deadly risk and get away with it, then think again,” he told reporters. “We will find you, and we will arrest you.”
The Adams administration has been considering curfews at shelters as the ‘sanctuary’ city continues to wrestle with the influx of tens of thousands of asylum seekers arriving amid a historic surge along the U.S.-Mexico border.
New York City has seen an influx of more than 165,000 migrants over the past year and has spent more than $2 billion on housing and other needs for migrants. Adams has proposed deep budget cuts to cover those costs, estimating that the city will spend upwards of $10 billion over the next couple of years.
Neighbors who live near the tent shelters built by the city in Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn have complained about migrants panhandling and going door-to-door begging for food and clothes.
Reports of crimes around the shelters, including a fatal stabbing at a tent city on Randall’s Island last month, have raised public safety concerns, according to published reports.
Republican leaders blasted the Times Square shooting as an example of fallout from the city’s right to shelter law and ‘sanctuary’ policies that they argue are drawing migrants to the city.
“Democrat’s open border, pro-criminal policies are an imminent threat to public safety,” Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt posted on social media in response to the incident. “Secure the border and end sanctuary citizens NOW!”