Federal government pushes back on use of Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn for migrants

Janice Yu Image
Monday, August 14, 2023
Feds push back on use of Floyd Bennett Field for migrants
Janice Yu has more on New York's efforts to provide housing during the ongoing migrant crisis.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- There is a potential roadblock in New York's plan to build a migrant shelter in Brooklyn.

The Biden Administration shot down Governor Kathy Hochul's plan to build a facility at Floyd Bennett Field.

Governor Hochul says she's not taking this as a hard no.

This comes after Hochul, along with federal, state, and city officials toured the 1,000-acre former military airfield and Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island.

The Hochul administration was also scheduled to speak with Department of Interior officials about the use of those sites.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Hochul have implored the Biden administration for help so that migrants aren't seen sleeping on the sidewalks outside of intake centers like the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan.

But the governor says getting the federal government to tell the Department of Interior it has to allow migrants to stay on federal land hasn't exactly been easy or quick because of legal and operational hurdles.

"But I did not take away from that a hard 'no.' So I think it's just going to be an evolving process and I fully anticipate that we'll get an answer that's important to the people of this community. Secondly, that is not the only site we are looking at, that are a priority of mine and the mayor's, there are federal sites that I've insisted that they look at to help us in what is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis of epic proportions," Hochul said.

Two state-funded centers are expected to open this week. The relief center at the former Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, and a shelter on the soccer fields on Randall's Island.

Adams says federal help is essential because at this rate, the city is on track to spend some $12 billion over the next three fiscal years on the migrant crisis.

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