‘At capacity’ New York squeezes homeless migrants

New York - Blanca, an asylum seeker with two daughters, must leave the New York City shelter she has called home for the past year after Christmas to make room for new arrivals. The 35-year-old, whose real name and country of origin have been withheld for her safety, is facing a torturous vicious cycle. As the asylum application of her and her eldest daughter are being processed, she does not have a work permit and could not work anyway as she has no one with whom to leave her youngest, who is nine months old. “I’m going through a very difficult situation,” she tells AFP at the Little Sisters of the Assumption migrant aid center in Harlem, north of downtown Manhattan and its gleaming skyscrapers. The association helps her with food, clothing, and above all the complex bureaucracy she must overcome to obtain asylum. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to us,” she said, crying. But she is clear that she cannot return to her country, from which she fled to escape the violent gangster father of her teenage daughter, now a New York high school student. lanca is one of 66,000 asylum seekers currently in shelters in New York which, according to Mayor Eric Adams, must “manage a national asylum seeker crisis largely on its own

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