New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated on Friday that the city will transport willing migrants to other New York cities ahead of a flood of migrants expected to arrive in the city after Title 42 expires next week.
The new initiative, according to Adams, “will provide up to four months of temporary sheltering in nearby New York counties, outside of New York City, to single-adult men seeking asylum who are already in the city’s care.”
The scheme will begin with two hotels in the small towns of Orange Lake and Orangeburg, with the potential to expand, according to the mayor. Adams’ spokesperson, Fabien Levy, told the associated press that the two hotels may initially accommodate up to 300 refugees, with the option to “expand.”
Orange Lake is a hamlet in upstate New York’s Orange County. At the time of the 2020 Census, the population was 9,770. Orangeburg is a hamlet in the town of Orangetown in New York’s Rockland County, with a population of approximately 4,600 people, according to Census data.
“Despite calling on the federal government for a national decompression strategy since last year, and for a decompression strategy across the state, New York City has been left without the necessary support to manage this crisis,” Adams said. “With a leadership vacuum, we are now forced to embark on our decompression strategy.”
Adams stated that both mayors and county executives have been alerted. the associated press has reached out to Orange Lake and Orangeburg leaders for their reactions to the mayor’s idea. the associated press has also requested a comment from New York Gov. Kathy Hochul regarding the mayor’s plan to transfer migrants outside of the city.
The announcement follows an internal briefing letter acquired and initially published by the associated press, which revealed a variety of solutions city authorities were considering to assist whether the predicted surge.
Tents in Central Park, a retrofitted airplane hangar at John F. Kennedy Airport, and the construction of temporary tiny homes are among the options mentioned in the memo, which predicts that 800 migrants will arrive in the city every day after Title 42 is lifted on Thursday. According to the memo, the city has processed tens of thousands of migrants since last spring, and 37,500 people are currently in its care.
The 5-page draft letter claims that an increase in arrivals is already being seen in New York City and describes the city’s requirements and potential “solutions” Around 500 arrivals were noted by the authorities on Wednesday alone. On May 11, the pandemic-era regulation known as Title 42, which permits immigration officers to quickly send migrants back to Mexico, is set to expire.
In advance of Title 42’s expiration, US Customs and Border Protection officers have noticed an increase in migrants crossing the US-Mexico border, according to the associated press report. In recent days, there have been about 7,000 daily interactions along the southern border of the US; this figure is anticipated to increase in the upcoming weeks.
The associated press spoke with three different administration sources who confirmed the validity of the planning document. A fourth source from one of the city agencies entrusted with assisting in the establishment of shelter and other resources for refugees confirmed that the agency had reviewed the document. The dossier outlines several potential solutions that the Adams administration is considering but has not yet finalized, according to the associated press sources.
The plan proposes putting migrants in existing structures such as York and Medgar Evers College campuses, the YMCA at the Park Slope Armory in Brooklyn, and a vast 135,000-square-foot leisure complex on Staten Island.
Another proposed “solution” is to modify unused airplane hangars at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which would necessitate assistance from the state and the Port Authority, which operates the airport, to build out “dormitory style residential services.”
The Adams administration is also considering placing tents in the city’s public parks and parking lots, according to the paper. Central Park, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens are mentioned as prospective locations in the document. Parking lots at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, and the Aqueduct Racetrack are also on the list of potential locations. Coney Island and Orchard Beach, which are popular summer destinations for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, are also offered as choices.
“While we do not discuss internal deliberations,” said Levy, Adams’ spokesperson, “we’ve been clear that the burden of caring for asylum seekers should not fall on any one city alone.”
Levy said to the associated press After running out of shelter space, the city resorted to housing migrants who came this week in “old NYPD training gyms”.
We are currently limited in the number of additional shelters we can open, so our only alternative is to temporarily lodge fresh arrivals in gyms, according to Levy. “We got hundreds of asylum seekers every day this week alone, and with Title 42 scheduled to be abolished next week, we anticipate even more to come to our city every day. We are looking at a wide range of solutions, but as we have been saying for a year, to manage this crisis, we critically need cooperation from the federal and state governments,” he said.
Building structures in public locations like the city’s parks is sure to elicit harsh criticism from local officials and advocates who have previously criticized the city’s approach to the migrant issue. Adams has already stated that the city’s budget would be impacted as he struggles to react to the needs of new migrants. To accommodate the demand, he suggested that people’s access to social and municipal services be reduced. Officials in New York City anticipate spending $4.3 billion on the surge of migrants by the end of June 2024.
In its list of potential options, the document included a proposal to build “temporary housing in containers or tiny homes.” The document refers to comparable strategies utilized to service homeless populations in New Jersey and London.
The document also includes ideas that the city has utilized or discussed in the last year, such as placing tents on Randall’s Island and hiring cruise ships to shelter migrants.
“All of these items are being discussed,” said an administration official who would only speak on the record because they were not authorized to speak publicly. While we don’t know what will happen, we need to let New Yorkers know that all alternatives are on the table, especially given that over 60,000 asylum seekers have arrived in the city since last year.”
NYC officials demand greater FEMA assistance
Adams has repeatedly asked for assistance from Washington, claiming that migrant arrivals in New York City and other major cities in the northeast constitute a humanitarian issue that the federal government should manage. Adams remains critical of the Biden administration, claiming that the federal government has “abandoned” the city to deal with the migrant situation on its own.
“New York has borne the brunt, with nearly 60,000 people coming to the city to participate in the American Dream, and we’re not providing them with the resources,” the mayor remarked Thursday at an unrelated event.
Adams recently stated that the financial load of the immigration crisis is “decimating the foundation of our city” and that every municipal service in New York City will be affected.
Some city officials expressed dismay on Friday when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) allocated $30.5 million in humanitarian aid cash – a quarter of the amount requested by the city in March.
“Despite the City’s $350 million request, FEMA’s initial grant of $30.5 million is nowhere near enough to cover the cost of assistance for asylum seekers,” said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Finance Chair Justin Brannan in a joint statement.
US Rep. Dan Goldman called the provision of cash from FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program “woefully insufficient,” vowing to continue working with his colleagues and the Adams administration to secure “sufficient” federal support.
“New York has spent more than $1 billion to support the over 60,000 migrants who have come to our city seeking a better life, but FEMA has only allotted New York City $30.5 million to contribute to this expense,” Goldman said in a statement Friday. “It is incumbent upon the federal government to pay its fair share for these unexpected immigration-related expenses.”
In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security announced the allotment of humanitarian aid, naming Texas and California as the top three recipients.
“This first round of funding was primarily focused on the needs of border communities due to the urgencies they face,” the government stated. “Funding was also provided to several cities in the interior.” Given its challenges, the City of New York received by far the most of any internal city.”
Later in this fiscal year, according to the agency, “approximately $360 million in additional funds through the new Shelter and Services Grant Program” will be awarded.
Mayor Adams referred to the construction as “woefully insufficient,” according to a statement from spokeswoman Levy.
“Today, we were notified that New York City will receive only $30 million in federal FEMA funding out of the $350 million total funds we initially applied for, despite already spending more than $1 billion to shelter asylum seekers,” the statement claimed.
“To be clear, this is both disappointing and woefully inadequate for a city that has borne the cost of sheltering, feeding, and supporting over 60,000 asylum seekers in the last year.” New Yorkers have been wonderfully supportive throughout this crisis, and we look forward to working closely with our congressional delegation to correct this grave error.”