New York City To Close Migrant Encampment In Favor Of Hotels Amid Surge In Arrivals

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Just one month opening a tent city on Randall’s Island, New York City is shutting it and transferring the adult single male migrants who have been living in the makeshift complex to the Watson Hotel in Manhattan.

The 84,000-square-foot facility was opened in October to assist with the sharp increase of asylum seekers being transferred to New York City primarily from the overwhelmed Texas-Mexico border.  The Randall’s Island facility boasted such amenities as fluff-and-fold laundry service, an array of entertainment including TV and video games and “culturally appropriate” meals from a rotating menu.

“The City is doing the right thing by moving people to a setting where they can have their own space and get settled. We are glad that this new location will be much more accessible to public transit so clients can access services and easily travel to and from the site,” Legal Aid Society attorney Joshua Goldfein stated according to ABC News.

Goldfein also stated that New York City should “pivot to moving people currently living in shelters into permanent housing so it can further reduce its reliance on hotels to meet its obligations to shelter people who have nowhere else to go,” something New York City Mayor Eric Adams seems to agree with. However, Adams contends the city will need help.

“The city is currently caring for over 17,500 asylum seekers, a number that continues to grow steadily. We will continue to pivot and shift as necessary to deal with this humanitarian crisis, but it’s clear that we still need financial assistance from our state and federal partners,” Adams stated according to ABC 7 News. (RELATED: NYC Mayor Eric Adams Declares ‘State Of Emergency’ Over Illegal Migrant Buses)

The Randall’s Island facility was originally established at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, but was forced to relocate due to flood risk. Moving it to Randall’s Island cost the city an estimated $750,000, NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol stated according to ABC News.

Despite having the capacity to house over 900 migrants, the Randall’s Island facility has seen few people sheltered there, because the location was “too isolated” from needed services to be a practical option, according to City Limits.