Rivera, 2 Others, Urge City to Open New Migrant Reticket Centers

Council Member Carlina Rivera, whose district houses the city’s only current reticketing center for migrants in the former St. Brigid School was joined by City Council speaker Adrienne Adams and deputy speaker Diana Ayala in calling on the Mayor Adams and the Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol to open additional reticketing centers.

| 26 Jan 2024 | 07:22

The following letter was sent to the Commissioner of Emergency Management Zach Iscol and copied to Mayor Eric Adams:

We write to urge the administration to open additional reticketing and reapplication centers throughout the city in order to meet the needs of families and the recent volume created by the 30- and 60-day shelter limit stays implemented by Mayor Adams. Since November, the situation in the East Village at St. Brigid’s, the city’s only reticketing center, has been untenable and increasingly unmanageable. Thousands of individuals who have recently migrated or arrived involuntarily to New York seeking asylum have shown up to St. Brigid’s doorstep on E 7th Street and Ave B in Manhattan and we ask for an immediate expansion of sites.With more than one center and a consideration for locations in each borough, the City can ensure people do not stand on line in the cold without access to even basic facilities like bathrooms. Multiple locations would also ensure that people are closer to culturally competent, community-based programs and services. Volunteers with LESReady!, a Lower East Side nonprofit with organizing and service-provision experience, have identified four potential sites in Council District 2 alone that could support overflow pending the City’s approval. It is important that we provide the same services available at St. Brigid’s at these additional locations and ask that the managing agencies also do more to provide translation services for both those seeking asylum and the local police precincts who help with the crowds present.Currently, having one reticketing center has not only led to physical capacity concerns, it has created a burden on the adjacent local community and its public spaces. Resources are needed in keeping up with quality of life issues and it appears that efficiency at St. Brigid’s has been in decline, with travel hardships and the overall cost-effectiveness of the process in place inquestion. Without a support network available even locally to those waiting, public safety concerns have increased. According to multiple media reports, just in the past 3 weeks, altercations outside of St. Brigid’s has led to violence, multiple arrests, and minor injuries sustained by police officers present. It was reported by the New York Daily News that on January 5, over 1,000 individuals seeking asylum waited on line to receive services at the St. Brigid’s reticketing center, a daily number that has occurred frequently. This model is clearly unsustainable and is fueling public scrutiny of a humanitarian decline occurring in a city that values its identity as a beacon to immigrants.Immigration is core to the identity of New York City and the United States. We must remain committed to our values – the values that unite us here in the five boroughs. People seeking asylum have the right to be in the United States per our national policies. We must continue to marshal our efforts to urge the federal government to provide New York City with financial support, and get individuals seeking asylum employment authorization and language and vocational training. However, we must act quickly and compassionately in creating a better system for the thousands of people coming to St. Brigid’s for assistance. We urge you to open additional centers and create space for families in need.