New York City began constructing a community of tents and cots Tuesday to house incoming migrants as five more buses arrived to the city from Texas.
The city began the construction of its first of two Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers to temporarily house the nearly 13,000 migrants who have arrived to the city via bus, AM New York reported.
The first bus arrived Tuesday at 6 a.m. followed by a second an hour later, Fox News reported. The next two arrived at 7:16 and 7:40 a.m. and the last dropped off the migrants and departed the city at approximately 12:25 p.m.
In response to the large influx of migrants, Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams directed the city’s public resources to turn an Orchard Beach parking lot in the Bronx into a tenting shelter for migrants, Fox News reported. The camp will be a processing center, housing migrants for four days before sending them to the city’s shelter system.
The camp will reportedly consist of five large heating tents intended to house 1,000 arrivals, Fox News reported.
Bronx Assembly Member Michael Benedetto toured the site and praised the work that Adams and the city’s resources are doing, Am New York reported.
“I’m awed by it to tell you the truth. The tents that they’re putting up seem to be quite sturdy. The tents supposedly will be on platforms. So, the people, if there is some water problem here in Orchard Beach parking lot, they will be walking above the water. I support the mayor and what he’s doing. This is a humanitarian effort,” Benedetto said.
The sheltering project has received criticism from local officials and the Legal Aid Society, who have expressed concerns about the conditions of the tents. (RELATED: ‘Rank Hypocrisy’: Texas Gov. Abbott Hits Back At NYC Mayor Adams For Threatening To Campaign For Beto O’Rourke)
“We are deeply concerned with any scenario in which families with children would be relegated to congregate settings,” the Legal Aid Society said, according to Fox News.
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson also voiced the apparent dangers of housing migrants near an are flood-prone area, AM New York reported.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent the first bus of migrants to New York City in August in an effort to transport migrants, who boarded the buses voluntarily, to Democratic-led and so-called “sanctuary” cities. Adams immediately criticized the bussing process due to the alleged inhumane conditions the migrants experienced en route and upon arrival to the city.
“It’s unfortunate that he believes this is a Hollywood script, and it’s not,” Adams previously told CNN. ““It is lives of human beings and to watch a governor lack coordination and show the humanitarian aspects of our country, placing people on a bus without adequate water, without adequate food, sending them to cities and in many cases they don’t understand the language. It’s just not who we are as Americans, so I don’t want to make his day. I want him to make the day of those that he is treating in this un-humanitarian fashion.”
Residents of the Bronx expressed disapproval of the new project, believing it to be nuisance to the community.
“We don’t want this. We come here to enjoy the beach. We bring our families here to have a picnic,” 76-year-old Nelson Cortes of Morris Park said, according to the New York Post. “I don’t live far away from here and the value of my house will go down. I came here from Puerto Rico. When I came to this country, I paid my own fare and I didn’t get anything from the government. I arrived, got a job and provided for my family.”
Juan Nazario, another Puerto Rican native, condemned the new tent city in a statement to the Post.
“This is crazy. This area is 99% Puerto Rican,” he said. “Anything illegal that happens here now, the Puerto Ricans will all be blamed for it.”