(VitalNews.org) – According to a court filing on Thursday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will no longer be represented by Letitia James, the New York Attorney General, in a legal dispute over the city’s “right-to-shelter” policy amid the Big Apple’s struggle to provide housing for a record number of legal and illegal immigrants arriving in the city after crossing the southern border.
The legal filing no longer lists the attorney general as representing the state defendants going forward, replacing her with a private law firm called Selendy Gay Elsberg PLLC.
The proceedings pertain to a “right-to-shelter” law that’s been around for decades in New York City. The law requires the state to give shelter to anyone who needs it, and although Mayor Eric Adams has tried to honor this specific mandate, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do so as migrants continue pouring into the city, which has exceeded its caring capacity.
Around 100,000 migrants seeking asylum have come to New York over the last 15 months. Adams says there’s “no more room” for them as the city’s resources are dwindling and options for shelter are running out. The mayor recently announced a tent city on Randall’s Island that will accommodate at least 2,000, and even a modern-day “Hooverville” in Central Park is being floated as an idea.
The New York Supreme Court is now calling for more assistance from the state for its flagship city, which Hochul is hesitant to do. Adams was ordered by the court to send the governor a list of what the city needed. Hochul has until next Tuesday, August 15, to respond to the list of needs.
Hochul gave remarks on Thursday saying she’s “convinced” the right-to-shelter policy “is the result of a consent decree undertaken by” New York City and that the rest of New York “is not a party to that.” Therefore, the law “does not expand to the whole of the state.”
Sources close to the attorney general claim that James’s decision to back out of representing the case had to do with “fundamental policy disagreements” with Hochul regarding the role the state should play “in managing the crisis.”
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