Reality is finally beginning to dawn on New York’s public officials: Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul called for an end to New York City’s insane “right-to-shelter” rule.
Until now, officials like Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams have wrongly stated the rule — stemming from a 44-year-old consent decree — requires the city to provide shelter to any and every comer, the minute they seek it.
Yet President Joe Biden’s open-border policy has led to hundreds of thousands of migrants swamping the state, with not enough shelter space to accommodate them all.
And with no end in sight.
That seems to have opened some eyes.
As Hochul herself now notes, that crazy interpretation of the rule could theoretically force the city to accommodate the whole world.
“The original premise behind the right to shelter was, for starters, for homeless men on the streets,” the gov explained; it was later extended to families.
“But never was it envisioned being an unlimited universal right, or obligation on the city, to house literally the entire world.”
It’s the first bit of common sense she’s uttered on the migrant crisis since it began after Biden took office.
Adams, too, is challenging the rule in court, and looking to impose a deadline on how long migrants can expect the city to pay for their stays — 30 days for single adults, 60 days for families.
Wow: It only took a couple of years, a near doubling of the city’s shelter population and billions in taxpayer dollars for Hochul and Adams to figure that out.
Yet their words alone won’t be enough: They’ve got to follow through with action.
No, that doesn’t mean tossing even the neediest migrants out on the streets without a shred of help.
But it does mean being ready to let them know — and not just with idle threats — that New York will no longer offer unlimited accommodations to every person seeking them.
That would make New York less of a destination for the newcomers (it’s now their top choice) and ensure that more prepare to find their own places to stay if they do come.
On the other hand, Hochul and Adams are pushing to expedite migrant work permits, which would attract more.
The best solution?
Get Biden to secure the border.
Until he does, New York can hope only to limit the nightmare, not end it.