United States

NYC converts cruise terminal into migrant shelter

(The Center Square) — New York City is converting a cruise ship terminal into a temporary shelter to help manage a massive influx of asylum seekers arriving in the city.

Mayor Eric Adams said the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal will be turned into a shelter to provide room, food and other services for 1,000 single men until the cruise season gets back underway in the spring. He said the city’s other humanitarian relief center at the Watson Hotel will transition to serving migrants with children.

Adams said the city has reached a “breaking point,” and has requested financial assistance from the state and federal governments to deal with the influx of migrants.

“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 in a statement.

More than 41,000 migrants have traveled to New York City in the past year, which Adams said is affecting the city’s ability to provide basic services.

New York has set up several temporary “Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief” centers, which currently house nearly 28,000 asylum-seekers. The city is using more than 70 hotels to accommodate the new arrivals.

Last week, Adams submitted an emergency mutual aid request to the state government for an additional 500 beds, but suggested more help will be needed.

Adams called for a “national response” to the “asylum seeker crisis” in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C., including more congressional funding, expedited ‘right to work’ options for asylum seekers, and legislation that “provides a clear pathway to residency or citizenship for those who enter this country legally.”

“Every attempt to deal with immigration on a national level through legislation has been sabotaged, mostly by 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 and say: We must come together as Americans to solve an American problem,” Adams said in his remarks.

A massive influx of migrant arrivals over the past year and a half has fueled a humanitarian crisis that’s putting a strain on government resources and creating friction between southern border states and the Biden administration.

The U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border nearly 1.8 million times in 2021, breaking previous records, according to the agency. Many of those people were expelled under Title 42, a federal public health order that has been in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But hundreds of thousands more migrants have been allowed to seek asylum and other protections in the United States, according to immigration officials.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, both Republicans, have sent migrants by bus and airplane to northern, Democratic-run cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., that limit their cooperation with federal immigration crackdowns.

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