New York City recently announced the opening of three extra hotels to provide shelter for asylum-seeking migrants arriving in the city. The Department of Homeless Services reportedly awarded contracts to two social services providers to operate the former Ramada Wyndham in Jamaica, Queens, and the former Marriott Courtyard in East Elmhurst, as migrant shelters. The contracts for the hotels operated as migrant shelters will allegedly be worth $17 million. A third migrant shelter will be opened at the Anchor Inn in Bayside. The contractual details of this shelter were not available at the time of writing, however, New York City Councilmember Vickie Paladino (R-Whitestone) claimed it would cost $10,000 a day to operate the shelter. Paladino claims that the Anchor Inn is one of the cheaper options available.
The Ramada Wyndham migrant shelter will be operated by the Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs. The contract to manage the shelter is reported worth $4.4 million. Midway Living will operate the Marriott Courtyard under the terms of a $12.3 million contract.
The migrant shelter at the Anchor Inn will provide 66 rooms and will have the capacity to cater to 110 men between the ages of 20 and 40 for a period of six to nine months. According to the Queens Chronicle, the contract between the service provider and the city started on Friday, April 14th. Asylum-seeking migrants reportedly started occupying space in Anchor Inn on Monday, April 17th, and by Wednesday, April 19th, the migrant shelter was fully occupied. The opening of the migrant shelter at the inn was criticized by Councilmember Paladino, who alleged that the city had only notified her about the plan to make the inn a migrant shelter 6 hours before it was opened for occupancy.
Paladino alleged that the consistent arrival of asylum-seeking migrants was beginning to take a noticeable toll on both residents and politicians. Paladino claimed that the migrant shelter at Anchor Inn was opened without the necessary input from the community. She also said she would look for a way to have the shelter closed as soon as possible. Paladino wrote on Twitter that the status quo could not continue. She said both the neighborhoods of New York City and the asylum-seeking immigrants deserved an immigration system that functioned properly.
“We’re spending billions that we simply do not have, all thanks to totally misguided open borders and sanctuary policies. Every New Yorker suffers because of this — especially immigrant communities which are already struggling with employment and housing issues,” she wrote.
Since the start of the migrant crisis, which has proved to be an incredible challenge to the operation and functioning of the city, approximately 55,300 asylum-seeking migrants have gone through New York City’s shelter system. According to the Adams Administration, more than 34,600 migrants are being catered to by the city. The migrants have been provided with emergency shelter, food, health services, and other basic services.
The expense of catering to the asylum-seeking migrants and operating the city simultaneously is increasingly becoming exorbitant, leading to numerous calls from Mayor Eric Adams and members of his administration for funding from both the state and federal governments. During a recent press conference, Adams boldly accused the Biden Administration of neglecting New York City. City Hall released a statement addressing the situation. “It will take all of us to respond to this unprecedented influx of asylum seekers that New York City has seen since last year,” a City Hall representative said in a statement.
Adams said, “Our administration, New Yorkers from every borough, community organizations, and our faith partners have all stepped up to the challenge, but as we’ve said for months, we’re in dire need of additional support from our state and federal partners to address this national crisis.” He continued, “We are committed to working with local elected officials and keeping them informed about new emergency shelters that we must open in an effort to comply with the law and ensure we do not allow families to sleep on the street.”