Posted on April 17, 2024

Migrants Descend on New York City Hall

Natalie Venegas, Newsweek, April 16, 2024

More than 1,000 migrants gathered at New York City Hall on Tuesday during the City Council’s oversight hearing, which was slated to discuss the experiences of Black migrants in the city and “uproot anti-Blackness,” according to City Council member Alexa Avilés.

The gathering was part of a “rally to uplift the experience of Black migrants,” according to the New York City Police Department, which spoke to Newsweek via phone on Tuesday.

Since last spring, the city has taken in more than 175,000 migrants—currently accommodating about 67,500—who have been provided a 30-day limit to alleviate shelter overflows. This comes as immigration remains a major political issue ahead of the 2024 presidential election amid heightened levels of migrant border crossings.

Republican lawmakers say the uptick in migrants is a direct result of President Joe Biden‘s border policies, which, they argue, incentivize illegal immigration. Other experts have said various factors, including political and financial instability in some Central American countries, drive migration to the U.S.

Tuesday’s gathering came as City Council members Avilés and Mercedes Narcisse led the hearing into discussing the experience of Black migrants.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Avilés pointed out how the hearing aimed to address the short-, mid- and long-term needs of Black immigrants, adding that it must also “uproot the anti-Blackness” within the legal care system.

“Today’s hearing centers [on] the experiences of Black immigrants in NYC and has turned out over 1000 people,” Avilés wrote on X. “We must uproot the anti-Blackness that plagues our systems of care {snip}”