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NYC running out of space to house influx of migrants

The mayor says as many as 700 asylum-seekers are arriving each day.
NYC running out of space to house influx of migrants
Posted at 4:36 PM, May 19, 2023

New York City is saying there's no more space while embracing the new surge of migrants arriving in the city. The mayor says as many as 700 asylum-seekers are arriving each day. Fifteen buses with migrants were expected to arrive Friday alone. Almost every idea for sheltering asylum-seekers has been met with outrage. The city has used hotels, tents, a cruise ship terminal, and — the latest — school gyms.

Students and parents protested outside a Brooklyn school earlier this week. Indignation stirring from the city's decision to house asylum seekers in the school's gym. 

"People have not really accepted the fact that this is a crisis," said New York City Mayor, Eric Adams.

In the wake of an unprecedented influx of migrants, Mayor Eric Adams is defending the city's handling of the situation.

"I don't know what it's going to take where everyone is saying we're downplaying, you know, 'Oh it's not bad.' No, it is that bad," said Adams. "We got 4,200 people last week came to our city for shelter."

Mayor Adams said the city moved away from sheltering migrants in school gyms. Friday, more buses arrived in New York. Kids, families and single adults coming out of the buses, have all added up to the more than 65,000 people the mayor says have arrived in the city since April 2022. Venezuelan Maykel Cardenas arrived in New York City Thursday.

SEE MORE: NYC relaxes shelter rules to house more asylum seekers

He was able to secure an asylum appointment through the U.S. government app.

Scripps News National Correspondent, Axel Turcios: "How was the process like to get an appointment through the application?"

Cardenas: "Well, the application is tricky because you only get one minute a day. Many of the steps turn very complex."

Hugo Dudamel is also from Venezuela. He too arrived in New York a day ago.

Scripps News National Correspondent, Axel Turcios: "Are you afraid that the city could say we can't do this anymore, we can't satisfy the needs of all people?"

Dudamel: "No, because I feel capable, I can. Because I need support for maybe three days, five, a week."

Both Dudamel and Cardenas found shelter at a Midtown building once used for offices. The city rushed to install beds inside. Families with children arrived at the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Friday. The city said is transitioning its welcome services from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to the hotel. Services are now run by NYC Health + Hospitals. 

The pandemic put the Roosevelt Hotel out of business. Now, it's opening 175 rooms for migrant families. The city expects to open an additional 675 rooms in the hotel.

"We have 900 people a few days ago that came in one day, one day, 900 people. We've never seen numbers like this," said Adams.

Mayor Adams is pleading for federal funds. The city projects spending more than $4 billion over the next two fiscal years.

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