(The Center Square) – New York City is converting a cruise ship terminal into temporary housing to handle the massive influx of asylum seekers arriving in the city.
Mayor Eric Adams said the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal will be converted to housing to provide housing, meals and other services for 1,000 single men until the cruise season starts again in the spring. He said the city’s other humanitarian center at the Watson Hotel would switch to serving migrants with children.
Adams said the city has reached a “point of stress” and has sought financial assistance from state and federal governments to cope with the influx of migrants.
“We continue to exceed 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 desperately need the support of our state and federal governments,” Adams said in an explanation.
More than 41,000 migrants traveled to New York City last year, affecting the city’s ability to provide basic services, Adams said.
New York has set up several temporary Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief centers that are currently housing nearly 28,000 asylum seekers. The city uses more than 70 hotels to accommodate the newcomers.
Last week, Adams submitted an application to the state government for emergency mutual aid for an additional 500 beds, but suggested more aid is needed.
Adams, speaking at the US Mayors’ Conference in Washington, DC, called for a “national response” to the “asylum-seeker crisis,” including more congressional funding, accelerated “right-to-work” options for asylum-seekers, and legislation that “provides a clear path to… Residence or citizenship for those entering this country legally.”
“Every attempt to legislate on immigration at the national level has been sabotaged, mainly by the right-wing opposition, and cities are bearing the brunt of this failure, which is why I ask all of you here today to join me in saying: we must as Americans come together to solve an American problem,” Adams said in his remarks.
A massive influx of migrants over the past year and a half has fueled a humanitarian crisis that is straining government resources and fueling tensions between southern border states and the Biden administration.
The U.S. border patrol detained nearly 1.8 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021, breaking previous records, the agency said. Many of these people have been expelled under Title 42, a federal health regulation that has been in effect since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But hundreds of thousands more migrants have been allowed to seek asylum and other protection in the United States, according to immigration officials.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, both Republicans, have bused and planed migrants to northern Democrat-run cities like New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C Restrict federal immigration authorities.