New York City to open 24/7 asylum seeker arrival center amid migrant crisis

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Tuesday, March 7, 2023
NYC to open 24/7 asylum seeker arrival center amid migrant crisis
Mayor Eric Adams said NYC will open a 24/7 asylum seeker arrival center for migrants to get access to a range of services.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The city is getting ready to open a 24/7 asylum seeker arrival center, where migrants will be able to get help with accessing a range of services, including legal assistance.

Mayor Eric Adams made the announcement on Tuesday morning and said he is creating an Office of Asylum Seeker Operations.

It comes as nearly 50,000 have gone through the system since last spring and more than 30,000 are currently in the city's care.

The mayor's blueprint includes training asylum seekers for employment, a program with houses of worship to provide asylum seekers with a place to stay and connection to services, and a partnership with SUNY Sullivan to provide job training and housing.

The city will continue to advocate for the state and federal governments to provide additional financial and operational support.

The 24/7 center will replicate the services provided at the Port Authority Bus Terminal last summer, and those being offered now at the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center (HERRC) locations.

However, the mayor would not say where the center will be located or where it will open.

The goal is to have migrants become self sufficient as soon as possible and then find employment. Adams said some of those asylum seekers will be moved out of the city but he wouldn't say where.

"We're gonna move to toward long term housing and resettlements including resettlement to pre-vetted cities and municipalities that welcome asylum seekers," Adams said. "There are many cities within the state and across the country that want to help and we want to create the pathway to do that.. please don't ask which cities. I don't need you running to the cities and stopping asylum seekers there... we'll tell you when they get there, I know you like pitting cities against each other."

During a city council hearing on Monday, Adams said city services are already impacted by the amount of money being given to aid asylum seekers without more help from the federal government.

Costs may be adding up, but New York City won't be getting any more federal money this fiscal year.

The city is spending about $364 a day for every migrant household, which adds up to about $4.6 million in a single day.

The state budget sets aside about a billion dollars to help with the migrant crisis. New York City will get a portion of $8 million in federal funding from FEMA, but the city has not applied for the money as of now.

Adams argues it's not nearly enough when projections show the city could end up spending $1.4 billion on the migrant crisis this fiscal year, and double that the next fiscal year.

"We need a real decompressive strategy. We need help from the federal government, help from the state. I am abiding by the law. And I'm sure there's no one who would tell me to break the law ," Adams said.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is considering reinstating a policy that would detain migrant families who cross the border illegally. A DHS spokesperson says no decisions have been made as they prepare for title 42 to lift.

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