RED HOOK, Brooklyn (PIX11) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams has come up with another plan on where to house asylum seekers. And already critics say it will never work.
Adams proposed temporarily housing 1,000 adult male asylum seekers at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal until springtime when the cruise season gets underway.
Since last spring, more than 41,000 migrants have been bused to New York City. Currently, 28,000 are under the city’s care.
“The city is at its breaking point,” said Adams. “We continue to surpass both our moral and legal obligations. We are in serious need of support from both our state and federal governments.”
However, critics argue the mayor’s plan includes the same pitfalls of previous housing proposals that did not pan out.
“We say time and time again the best practice is for people to have smaller spaces. The larger congregate spaces are not successful,” Josh Goldfein, staff attorney for the Legal-Aid Society, told PIX11 News.
Men currently staying at the Watson Hotel on West 57th Street in Manhattan will be transferred to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, some say as early as next week. The Watson Hotel will shift to only help newly arrived families with children.
Both the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition For The Homeless say they are concerned that the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is in a low-lying area prone to flooding. Last year, the mayor ordered the construction of a tent city for migrants at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, but it was never operational due to flooding concerns.
“The site is right on the water, so there would be the same problem with extreme weather,” Goldfein told PIX11 News.
This would be the fifth humanitarian emergency response and relief center the city would be setting up, they say, with a range of services for adult men, including medical, food, laundry, and what the city called reconnections.
Adams will be speaking at a City Hall rally Sunday to push for federal support for asylum seekers.
In a statement issued Monday, a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said that the agency is pitching in to provide food and shelter to migrants.
“As the Secretary noted at the U.S. Conference of Mayors this week, DHS is providing Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds to help cities around the country better manage the costs of noncitizen arrivals in their communities,” the spokesperson said. “The 2023 Omnibus funding bill also authorized the creation of a new DHS grant program, the Shelter and Services Program (SSP), to support these communities.”