Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan begins welcoming migrants

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, May 19, 2023
As more migrants arrive, Mayor says NYC has 'run out of space'
The Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown began welcoming migrants as the latest round of buses from southern states arrived early Friday. Jim Dolan has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown began welcoming migrants as the latest round of buses from southern states arrived early Friday.

The first of 15 expected buses arrived in New York City and took migrants to the hotel around 7 a.m.

The city is transitioning its welcoming services from the Port Authority, where volunteers played a key role, to the Roosevelt Hotel which is being run by NYC Health + Hospitals.

Anthony Carlo has more on the arriving migrants to the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown.

The Roosevelt went out of business during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been closed for three years.

Now, Mayor Eric Adams' office says it will serve as a centralized intake center during this migrant crisis.

It is opening up 175 rooms for children and families until it is scaled to approximately 850 rooms.

Asylum seekers will have access to a range of legal and medical services, as well as placement, if needed, in a shelter.

Asylum seekers currently in the city's care will also be able to visit the arrival center to access the host of services.

Officials say the hotel is anticipated to provide some much-needed support in this crisis.

"It has overwhelmed our system. 65,000 people coming to our city, just a week and a half ago we had 4,200 in one week, in one day we had 900. The numbers are just unbelievable if you think about it," Adams said.

Mayor Adams carried on that sentiment during an appearance Friday on Carribean Power Jam's "The Reset Talk Show," where he said he is powerless to stop the influx.

"We've run out of space to put people," Adams said.

"And then, whenever we try to find creative ways to put people, people are pushing back and say, 'Well we don't want it on our block. We don't want it in our community,'" he continued. "The bottom line is, we have to go somewhere. If we don't go somewhere, the people are going to be living like in other municipalities, on the streets, in train stations."

During an event in Buffalo, Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state is continuing to look into "welcoming communities" that would house asylum seekers from NYC.

Among those potential locations include SUNY and CUNY properties, which will have fewer students on campus over the summer.

In a statement on the matter, SUNY said, "At Gov. Hochul's direction, we are assessing whether there are SUNY resources available to help with the arrival of asylum seekers."

No decisions have been made yet at any state-owned sites.

On Thursday, some 80 asylum seekers were sent to the Knights Inn in Liberty, Sullivan County which has now declared a state of emergency.

"We fear that this will displace a number of our otherwise-homeless residents, who we house in this and other lodging establishments," Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty said in a statement.

Additionally, the city is now working with a Red Roof Inn in Poughkeepsie.

"We have a challenge, there are over 71,000 people arriving. This is a situation no one asked for," Gov. Hochul said.

Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul continue to ask the federal government for assistance.

At this point, the city projects spending more than $4 billion over the next two fiscal years as a result of the migrant crisis, and as of now only 37% of that is expected to be covered by state and federal money.

WATCH: NYC officials call on White House for help with migrant placement

Brooklyn Borough President Anthony Reynoso and other NYC officials call on White House and state officials to address the influx of migrants.


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