NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City had to shutter the Randall’s Island facility built to house the migrants less than a month after it opened, yet Mayor Eric Adams was “baffled” that it wasn’t deemed a success.
Adams said his administration executed its plan to house the 100,000 asylum seekers they were anticipating coming to Manhattan. Only about 1,100 people ended up using the Randall’s Island facility. The priority, he said, was to be prepared.
The mayor attributed the low turnout to the fact that he asked the federal government to step in and address the border crisis and they listened.
“I’m baffled by those who don’t realize the successful execution of a plan,” Adams said Monday at an unrelated press conference. “The worst thing that could’ve happened was that we waited.”
“We are not writing and talking about the migrant crisis right now because our team executed a successful plan,” he added. “Not one child slept on the street of this city that was a migrant because of this administration.”
Other city officials weren’t as enthused about the project. City Comptroller Brad Lander recently sent the city a letter again asking for the detailed costs of the Randall’s Island project. He gave the city until Wednesday to provide the receipts, the letter said.
Officials had previously estimated that the Randall’s Island site would cost about $650,000, but Lander’s office said that figure was not what he was told.
“Initial estimates for the costs of the tent facility provided to our office by New York City Office of Emergency Management were inconsistent with figures provided to press, and the administration has failed to reconcile that discrepancy,” the letter said.
“I’m not hiding the cost of anything. Lander knew it was a crisis,” Adams said in response to the letter.
The city’s Independent Budget Office estimated the migrant crisis will cost about $600 million per year, according to a letter from the IBO. Adams said he would ask the federal and state officials for reimbursement.
New York City has received nearly 24,000 asylum seekers arriving on buses from the southern border, but the number of new arrivals has slowed in recent weeks, according to city officials.