In response to an illegal immigrant surge in New York City, local officials have begun offering one-way tickets to all who are willing to leave.
According to Politico, the city has set up a "reticketing" center in Manhattan to manage the influx of those seeking refuge. They are arranging flights for various destinations worldwide, including Colombia and Morocco.
"With no sign of a decompression strategy in the near future, we have established a reticketing center for migrants," City Hall spokesperson Kayla Mamelak told the publication. "Here, the city will redouble efforts to purchase tickets for migrants to help them take the next steps in their journeys."
Recent figures estimate approximately 600 new arrivals enter the city daily.
Mayor Eric Adams has expressed concerns about New York's growing migrant population for months, having offered taxpayer-funded bus tickets in February to encourage travel north to Canada.
"Every year, my relatives show up for Thanksgiving, and they want to all sleep at my house. There’s no more room. That’s where we are right now," he said. The metropolitan hub has over 130,000 migrants as of writing, straining its housing resources and overfilling local shelters.
As reported by the New York Post, some migrants received complimentary tickets to Plattsburgh, NY, where they travel half an hour by shuttle or taxi to cross into Quebec via Roxham Road.
At the time, Quebec's Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette said the uptick in illegal immigration underscored the need for the federal government to resolve the growing migrant crisis at the unofficial border point of entry.
According to Immigration Canada, the RCMP intercepted 34,478 asylum seekers who did not use official ports of entry to Quebec between January and November of 2022, compared to 316 elsewhere in Canada.
"Right now, in Quebec, the resources devoted to immigrants and the most vulnerable people are stretched to the limit," said Fréchette. "The large number of people entering Quebec through Roxham Road is contributing to this overload."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reached an agreement with U.S. President Joe Biden March 23 to close Roxham Road in exchange for 15,000 illegal immigrants across the Americas. As of last month, Canada has started the process of welcoming 11,000 migrants from Colombia, Haiti and Venezuela, among other countries.
As a preventive measure, New York City distributed informational flyers at the southern border, informing incoming migrants that shelter, food, and water is limited should they enter the U.S. Taxpayers have allocated at least $1.2 billion to support illegal immigrants, with further expenditures likely raising that tally to $5 billion.
Adams stressed the situation for migrants grows dire, forcing officials to open numerous emergency shelters to offload the burden felt by permanent facilities.
In a bid to manage shelter capacities, the city has started reviewing shelter stays by migrant families. Those with children are now required to reevaluate their housing needs within the city every 60 days. For single adult migrants, the reapplication period is every 30 days.
The mayor is also considering further revisions to the city’s "right to shelter" provision, a policy that guaranteed shelter for anyone in need. The matter is currently under legal review in Manhattan Supreme Court.