Mayor Eric Adams and several local lawmakers on Friday spent the night at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, where hundreds of single migrant men are being housed after being moved from a Manhattan hotel.
Adams slept on a cot through the night to highlight that the conditions at the terminal are safe and humane, even when temperatures reach below freezing outside.
During an appearance on “Mornings On 1” Monday, Adams said the trip was to show “solidarity.”
“I know what it is to have housing insecurity. And when we walked in the coldest night of the year, I wanted to really have solidarity to those who were seeking the American dream and we had a good conversation, had a warm place to sleep, and got up in the morning, had breakfast and talked to the asylum seekers,” Adams said.
In recent weeks, Adams and his administration have faced sharp criticism for their decision to move the migrant men from the Watson Hotel to the terminal, where many migrants complained of a lack of privacy and “freezing” temperatures.
While Adams said there will be improvements made to the terminal, he defended the relocation, saying many of the men there expressed gratitude.
“Speaking with the men who were there, we were going to make some additions. Some of them stated they would like English classes, we got to collaborate to do that. Some of them stated that they just want some type of recreational activity, we're going to really learn from being on the ground,” Adams said.
“You can only listen to what people are saying, you must go out and visit firsthand. They are extremely appreciative. They want to work, that’s why we need to expedite work permits. We have a lot of jobs available in this city and they are extremely appreciative to New Yorkers.”
He noted that some of the men he spoke with said the relocation was correct, in order to make room for families and children at the Hell’s Kitchen hotel.
“We were moving people out of the hotel so we can move children and families inside the hotel, after opening 81 hotels already and several different HERRCs (Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers). This was the right thing to do and the men who were there agreed it was the right thing to do,” Adams said.