The city will open a new migrant relief center on Randall’s Island, Mayor Eric Adams said Monday.
According to the city, the site will house 2,000 single men seeking asylum. It will also provide services for them, and help them reach whatever destination they want to end up at, whether it is New York City or elsewhere, Adams said in a news release.
What You Need To Know
- On Monday, the city announced they will use Randall's Island again to house thousands of migrants
- The humanitarian relief and response center will house about 2,000 single adults
- The city is currently caring for approximately 57,200 asylum seekers and has opened more than 190 emergency shelters, including 13 other “large-scale” humanitarian relief centers
“As the number of asylum seekers in our care continues to grow by hundreds every day, stretching our system to its breaking point and beyond, it has become more and more of a Herculean effort to find enough beds every night,” Adams said in a statement.
Adams said the center will be operated in partnership with New York state, which will reimburse the city for costs connected to the site, which include staffing, construction and maintenance.
The city is currently caring for approximately 57,200 asylum seekers and has opened more than 190 emergency shelters, including 13 other “large-scale” humanitarian relief centers, officials said.
Randall’s Island was one of the first locations the city used to house migrants last fall when only about 15,000 were in the five boroughs.
“The reason we’re using Randall’s Island is because we have used up every option we have. So we have to go back to the only option left to us,” said Dr. Ted Long, the senior vice president of ambulatory care and population health at New York City Health + Hospitals.
The rebuilt Randall’s Island center will be similar to the tents that the city built last fall.
“Metal structures with tents around them. They are built to withstand 90 mph winds. All weather. It will be safe and comfortable and weather-controlled, as well,” Long said.
Meanwhile, labor groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden and his administration on Monday, joining the chorus of elected officials and advocates calling for expedited work permits for migrants.
The letter specifically asks the president to expedite Temporary Protected Status applications for asylum seekers in order to allow them to work.
“New York’s political leaders have rightfully pointed out that our immigration laws prevent asylum seekers from working for at least a year. Fortunately, the president does have a tool — TPS — that would allow these new asylum seekers to have immediate access to work authorization,” the letter says.
The coalition argues that allowing migrants to work would help them provide for themselves and not rely on limited social services.
The Randall’s Island site is set to open in the coming weeks. The city will also soon be opening another site in eastern Queens in the parking lot of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.