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New York Closes Controversial Randall’s Island Immigration Center – NBC New York

What to know

  • New York City is closing an immigrant tent complex it just opened three weeks ago as the number of people traveling by bus from the southern border states declined, authorities said Thursday.
  • The temporary relief facility on Randall’s Island is expected to close next week.
  • The space will be offered to all occupants in a new self-help center opening in a midtown Manhattan hotel, Mayor Eric Adams’ office announced.

NEW YORKNew York City is closing an immigrant tent complex that opened just three weeks ago as the number of people traveling by bus from the southern border states declined, authorities said Wednesday.

The temporary relief facility on Randall’s Island is expected to close next week, and space will be offered to all occupants in a new care center opening in a midtown Manhattan hotel, Mayor Eric’s office announced. Adams.

“We continue to welcome asylum seekers to New York City with compassion and care,” Adams said in a statement, adding that the new hotel hub “will provide asylum seekers with a place to stay, access to support, and reach their final destination.” .

The center opened on October 19 to house single men seeking asylum in the United States for temporary periods after their first arrival in New York City. The center helped them determine what resources they needed and whether they wanted to go elsewhere.

In recent months, the number of migrants, mostly from Venezuela, arriving in New York City has soared after officials in states like Texas and Arizona bused them off.

This led Adams to declare a state of emergency for the city’s infrastructure, with the homeless shelter system about to reach its peak. There are more than 63,300 people in the reception system.

But the Randall’s Island facility, made up of heated tents that included cots for up to 500 people and could have accommodated double that number, was not used anywhere near that capacity.

The mayor’s office did not specify how many immigrants used the facilities. But, he said, there are 17,500 asylum seekers under the tutelage of the city at large.

Even before it opened, immigrant advocates were concerned about the center over a number of issues, including its location, on an island between the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens, and whether it would be appropriate to house people in tents instead of built-in spaces. as a hotel, and whether migrants would receive adequate services.

The news of its closure was met with approval.

“The city is doing the right thing by moving people into an environment where they can have their own space and settle down so they can get on with their lives,” said Kathryn Kliff, attorney for the Legal Aid Society. “We are also delighted that this new location is much more accessible to public transport so customers can easily access services and travel to and from the site.”

Randall’s Island Camp was initially built on Orchard’s Island but was moved due to concerns that it was in an area prone to flooding.

At the time, New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zack Iscol told our sister network News 4 New York that while the city’s taxpayers would foot the bill to build and operate the center, the total price.

“It cost approximately $325,000 to demobilize from Orchard Beach and another $325,000 to create this facility. [en Randall’s Island]. We are still analyzing the rest of the costs, we don’t know how many people we will serve,” Iscol said at the time.

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