Mayor Eric Adams has announced the opening of two additional large-scale migrant shelters, bringing the total to 186 citywide, amid an ongoing “silent crisis” of around 2,500 asylum seekers arriving weekly.
Since last spring, the city has seen over 87,200 arrivals. In comparison, there were 103 shelters in the city as of March, which implies that an additional 83 facilities were established within five months.
Adams said on Tuesday, July 18th, “Our shelter system has doubled in size and although it’s no longer on the front pages of our daily tabloids, we are still dealing with a silent crisis. The numbers are increasing, and it’s continued to be a heavy lift for this city.”
Mayor Adams has repeatedly called for state assistance to help manage the surge, insinuating a lack of adequate support from Governor Kathy Hochul.
He also emphasized that the city has historically assisted the state during disasters, pointing to recent catastrophic floods in the Hudson Valley.
The Mayor stressed that the city was doing “more than any other city or state” in accommodating the migrants, arguing that the city needs more help from both the national and state governments.
The newly established shelters, including the Crowne Plaza JFK Airport hotel in Queens, are designed to accommodate the growing number of asylum seekers. The hotel is transitioning from a short-term respite center to a humanitarian relief facility capable of housing over 330 asylum-seeking families. Another temporary site near Downtown Brooklyn will be converted to provide relief for approximately 1,400 adults.
Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom elucidated the strategic actions taken by the city in a press briefing. She underscored that the majority of asylum seekers are not arriving via bus. This situation led to a critical reallocation of staff from the Port Authority to Roosevelt. Williams-Isom reassured that the National Guard continues to be stationed at the Port Authority, ready to assist as needed.
She further explained the vital role of the Roosevelt Center in providing comprehensive support to about 1,400 individuals arriving daily. The facility offers mental health services, facilitates connections to local schools for newcomers, and provides additional support to help asylum seekers integrate into the city effectively.
Housing and feeding a migrant family in a city shelter costs more than $375 per night. The ongoing migrant influx costs taxpayers almost $8 million daily. More than 53,000 asylum seekers are currently being accommodated in the city-run sites.
Despite a 70% decrease in illegal border crossings since the Title 42 lift in early May under President Biden’s administration, the number of migrants in New York City continues to grow.
Governor Hochul reaffirmed the state’s commitment to the city, mentioning that Albany has already provided $1 billion for shelter assistance.
However, State Senator George Borrello (R-Jamestown) argued that the city would remain a “magnet for migrants” until it revokes its sanctuary status.