The city is opening a new emergency, temporary shelter at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to help accommodate the influx of migrants, the New York Times reports.
The relief center, which will operate until cruise season returns this spring, has beds to accommodate up to 1,000 single, adult men, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Jan. 21.
“With more than 41,000 asylum seekers arriving in New York City since last spring and nearly 28,000 asylum seekers currently in our care, our city is at its breaking point,” the mayor told reporters on Saturday.
Housing and migrant advocacy groups criticized the plan for its location, which they say is too far from the subway, in a high-risk flood zone and vulnerable to the windy, winter waterfront. Hotels are a better choice for short-term housing, the advocates said.
“Hotels have always been the better short-term option, in contrast to erecting tents in inaccessible parts of New York City that are prone to flooding,” the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless said in a joint statement.
“Continuing to move asylum seekers around the boroughs like chess pieces is callous and indicative of City Hall’s failure to competently manage this crisis,” the groups added.
Adams said the recent influx of migrants has overwhelmed city services and has cost $300 million so far. The recently proposed $103 billion city budget has cuts in anticipation of future deficits.
“We continue to surpass both our moral and legal obligations and meet the needs of people arriving in New York, but as the number of asylum seekers continues to grow, we are in serious need of support from both our state and federal governments,” Adams said.
Last September, Adams proposed to shelter migrants on cruise ships, but the plan was ditched after criticism from advocacy groups and electeds. This new plan, Adams insisted, shelters migrants in the terminal, not on the boats.