Mayor Adams’ Bronx Migrant Tent Camp Faces Criticism
On Friday, September 30th, Mayor Eric Adams received criticism on his handling of the migrant crisis from across the political spectrum, from democrats to republicans. They criticized his plan to house migrants in a tent city in the Bronx.
The chairwoman of the Council’s Immigration Committee, Councilwoman Shahana Hanif (D-Brooklyn), stated at a press conference outside City Hall that “this pitch was sold as a state-of-the-art facility with food, beds, and a warm New York City welcome.” She continued, “a refugee camp established outdoors in a flood zone in October is not state of the art.”
Hanif’s criticisms were made hours before a council hearing on Adams’ tent plans. Her rally was held a week after Adams and other top city officials announced their most recent plan to deal with the city’s influx of migrants by erecting five tents in a Bronx parking lot of Orchard Beach. These tents, which are scheduled to open during the first week of October, have prompted inquiries about whether it was being pursued in order to circumvent state laws requiring local governments to provide housing to those who request it within a certain amount of time.
Zach Iscol, the emergency management commissioner for Adams, responded to Hanif’s inquiries by stating that migrants who would dwell in the tents would receive lockers to store their possessions and that there would be one shower and one toilet for every 15 people.
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When Hanif inquired further about the requirement of right-to-shelter laws in the administration’s migrant tent camps, Iscol retorted that the tents aren’t a shelter since they aren’t run by the Department of Homeless Services and don’t comply with the Callahan v. Carey decision from 1979, which established the right to shelter in the city.
According to Adams’ administration, asylum seekers from South and Central America have been entering the city for several months now, many on buses sent there by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has attempted to use the buses as a means of attacking President Biden’s border policy. More than 15,000 migrants are believed to have entered the Big Apple thus far, stressing out an already overburdened shelter system in the city.
Mayor Adam’s answered questions and addressed concerns about his Orchard Beach plan on Friday. Adams responded that “clarity” would be a priority when asked how his administration would make sure migrants understood that being housed in tents was “voluntary” and that they had the option to enter the shelter system instead.
He declared, “We are going to provide a level of clarity and let the migrants and asylum seekers know precisely what is available in the city.”
However, Adams made the suggestion that he would assess the migrant crisis in relation to his top concern: New Yorkers.
He declared, “My primary duty is to the people of New York. That is my ultimate responsibility, to the people of this city.” Furthermore, Adams proclaimed, “No other municipality is doing what New York City is doing…We have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure that we are treating people in a humane way, and we’re trying to be as humane as possible.”