Mayor Eric Adams announced that his administration will be opening two extra shelters for asylum-seeking migrants arriving in New York City. The two Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRC) will open in Times Square and Brooklyn. The HERRC site in Times Square will be located in the Candler Tower office building. The building was formerly the site of one of the most profitable McDonald’s restaurants in the United States. The McDonald’s restaurant was operated 24 hours a day but closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The other shelter will be in a six-floor commercial building on 455 Jefferson Street in Brooklyn.
“With more than 51,000 asylum seekers arriving here since last spring and over 31,000 asylum seekers currently in our care, New York City continues to call for a national strategy to handle this humanitarian crisis,” said Mayor Adams. “We continue to do more than any other city in the nation, but as the number of asylum seekers continues to grow, we are in serious need of support from both our state and federal governments. The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal will resume its normal operations as always planned, so these two new Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers will provide up to approximately 1,200 single men seeking asylum with a place to stay, access support, and get to their final destinations.”
The two new Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers will practically serve as replacements for the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal which housed a shelter for single male asylum seekers. The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal shelter will be shutting down as the cruise season commences. The opening of the shelters will mean there will be 8 Humanitarian Centers in the city.
However, the opening of the Humanitarian Centers for asylum-seeking migrants has been condemned by certain New York City politicians.
“We’re now going to house them in retail spaces, commercial spaces,” said City Councilman Robert Holden. “Where does it end and when does the taxpayer get a break here?”
“This is a problem that the Biden administration created and the government should foot the bill and have a plan to feed and house them,” he added.
There are currently about 31,000 migrants in the city’s care. The Adams Administration has provided them with shelter, food, and other important services. According to the city’s comptroller Brad Lander, by the end of the next fiscal year, the city would have spent about $4.2 billion to accommodate the influx of asylum-seeking migrants. New York City has catered to the migrants as much as possible without any financial assistance from the federal government.