The New York City mayor says he plans to set up hangar-sized tents as temporary shelters for thousands of international migrants who have been bussed into the city as part of a campaign by Republican governors to disrupt federal border policy.
The tents are among a range of options — from using cruise ships to summer camps — that the city is considering as it struggles to find housing for an estimated 13,000 asylum seekers who ended up in New York City after being transported north by bus. from border towns in Texas and Arizona.
“This is not an everyday homelessness crisis, but a humanitarian crisis that requires a different approach,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.
In Arizona and Texas, officials are charging people onto buses for free travel to Washington and New York City, while accusing them of misleading some passengers or giving them little choice if they don’t have the money to get where they actually want to go. . More recently, they transported people to Chicago and, through the Florida governor, to Martha’s Vineyard.
Adams said the city had opened 23 emergency shelters and was considering 38 more to accommodate the people who had entered the city since May.
The city also recently opened an intake center to help the newcomers settle in quickly.
The first tent is proposed in a remote corner of the Bronx, a parking lot near a popular city beach on Long Island Sound where public transportation is limited. Officials are investigating other areas.
A rendering of the facility’s likely design released by the city showed rows and rows of cots. The city has released few details.
City officials said these facilities – which they call “humanitarian relief and shelter centers” – would only house individuals for up to four days, while the city arranged other types of shelter.
In a joint statement, the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless said it is working with city officials to come up with “a viable solution that meets New York’s legal and moral obligation to provide safe and adequate shelter for all those who seek it.” seeking, including asylum seekers”.
Earlier this month, Adams had floated the idea of housing hundreds of migrants on cruise ships.
Overall, the number of people staying overnight in New York City homeless shelters had fallen in recent years, due in part to Covid-19. That prompted city officials to reduce reception capacity.