New York City is opening a new relief center on Randall’s Island as it tackles a migrant crisis that’s overwhelming the city’s resources.
(Bloomberg) — New York City is opening a new relief center on Randall’s Island as it tackles a migrant crisis that’s overwhelming the city’s resources.
The center will serve as many as 2,000 adults seeking asylum and the associated costs will be reimbursed by the state, Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement Monday. Two more relief centers are set to open in the coming weeks, he said.
“As the number of asylum seekers in our care continues to grow by hundreds every day, stretching our system to its breaking point and beyond, it has become more and more of a Herculean effort to find enough beds every night,” said Adams.
Some 57,200 migrants are in the care of the city, which is required by a court order to provide shelter to whomever asks for it. As the city’s shelter system buckles under the strain of the incoming migrants, Adams has sought to roll back the city’s right-to-shelter law and launched a messaging campaign to discourage asylum-seekers from traveling to the city.
Officials are reviewing 3,000 sites to house migrants, with Manhattan’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park among them. The city has already opened more than 190 emergency shelters in city-owned buildings and locations like hotels, hospitals and a temporary facility in Randall’s Island that closed last year. The city has announced plans to convert a long-abandoned psychiatric care facility in Queens into a humanitarian relief center for migrants.
The city estimates the cost of caring for migrants will surpass $4.3 billion by next July.
“We have passed our breaking point and it’s beyond time for others to step up,” Zach Iscol, New York’s Emergency Management Commissioner, said in the statement. “This is clearly a national issue that calls for national leadership and a cohesive, robust national response.”
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