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NEW YORK, ,NY— Asylum seekers bused to New York City by Republican lawmakers amid a red state-blue state political spat will end their journey on rows of cots inside massive tents, City Hall announced Thursday.
The city plans to develop two “Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief” centers to provide temporary housing for hundreds of migrants who enter the city from Texas, and in some cases Florida, on a daily basis, the Mayor’s office said.
“While other leaders have abdicated their moral duty to support arriving asylum seekers, New York City refuses to do so,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “This is not an everyday homelessness crisis, but a humanitarian crisis that requires a different approach.”
The two centers, run by the city’s Emergency Management department and New York City Health and Hospitals, will open in The Bronx’s Orchard Beach and a second location yet to be chosen.
Asylum seekers will spend about one to three days in the centers, but the Mayor’s office noted this time span could change.
The Mayor’s office did not provide information about the number of cots, tents or the cost of the centers and held no open-press events Thursday, the day the news was released.
The press release includes two photos of large cot-filled tents officials said serve as examples of what the centers will look like, but officials noted some unspecified differences are to be expected.
The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless raised concerns about housing children and families in a congregate setting.
“This practice, which has been widely condemned for its adverse and dangerous impact on this uniquely vulnerable population, is already subject to legal prohibitions,” the groups said in a joint statement.
“That said, we remain willing to work with the City on a viable solution that satisfies New York’s legal and moral obligation to provide safe and adequate shelter to all who seek it, including asylum seekers.”
The relief centers will provide immediate shelter, food, medical care and assistance connecting the asylum seekers with local family or social services, the Mayor’s office said.
“This is a humanitarian crisis that requires a new approach designed specifically to best assist those coming to our city,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom.
“In this unprecedented time, we’re laser focused on supporting the parents, children and individuals who deserve compassion and support, and these centers are one piece of our work to do just that.”
This news comes days after an asylum seeker and young mother died by suicide in a New York City shelter.
Last month, a 3-month-old baby girl was hospitalized after facing a bus ride from Texas to New York City.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot, Florida Gov. Rob DeSantis and other Republican lawmakers have been sending asylum seekers to New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Martha’s Vineyard for months.
People sent on that journey report they are not told where they are going or what will happen when the journey ends.