NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City began welcoming asylum seekers at the Roosevelt Hotel on Friday in an effort to simplify the arrivals process.

The hotel near Grand Central Terminal closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been shuttered for three years. It now serves as an intake center for asylum seekers arriving in New York City from the southern border.

The hotel will be a “one-stop-shop” for migrants to access housing, legal, medical, and financial services, according to city officials. All new asylum seekers arriving in New York City will be directed to this center.  

The hotel is also expected to open up roughly 175 rooms for migrant children and families before expanding to a total of 850 rooms.

But even as logistics move forward, much more continues to develop behind the scenes to address the needs of the 40,000 migrants living in hotels and shelters across New York City, as well as the thousands more who are expected to arrive.

A total of 67,000 migrants have come to New York City since last year, according to city officials. The city has spent more than $1 billion on the migrant crisis.