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First Tent City for Migrants Opens in NYC

National

The Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on Randall's Island in New York City | Image by REUTERS

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New York City opened its first tent camp for migrants Wednesday on Randall’s Island amid an influx of migrants being bused to the city.

Randall’s Island is located in the waters between the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens.

On Tuesday, they provided a tour of the new facility, a sprawling tent city spanning more than 84,000 square feet that will initially house 500 men and have room for 500 more in the future, according to Gothamist.

The City plans to bring single men to the facility once they arrive. Migrant families with children are being housed in a hotel.

Initially, city officials said the plan was to have migrants stay in these tents for no more than 96 hours, but it now appears there will be no limit on how long they can stay at the facility.

“There is no limit to how long people that are seeking asylum can stay in this facility,” Dr. Ted Long, a top official in the city Health Department, said, according to the New York Daily News.

The hangar-sized tents went up on Randall’s Island after a previous plan for a camp at Orchard Beach in the Bronx was called off mid-build because of flooding concerns. The City has spent at least $650,000 on the centers, with half of the funds used to tear down the never-used Orchard Beach camp.

City officials have pushed back against concerns from opponents who believe the Randall’s Island arrangements are “inhumane.” The facility is heated and features recreation rooms — with TVs, Xboxes, foosball tables, a cafeteria serving three daily meals, and a laundry facility.

Reportedly, isolation trailers will be on-site to house anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival. Migrants will be free to come and go but must abide by a 10 p.m. curfew.

Still, the facility does not meet the standards set by the city’s right to shelter law, which requires, among other things, beds to be placed three feet apart. City officials have argued the new facility is separate from the city’s shelter system.

The tent city is expected to remain operational as long as buses of migrants continue to arrive in New York.

“We have no control over that,” NYC Emergency Management commissioner Zach Iscol said.

“We needed a different type of operation that gave us the time and space to welcome people, provide them a warm meal, shower, a place to sleep, to understand their medical needs, to really then work with them to figure out what their next step is going to be,” said Iscol.

In recent months, NYC has seen an increase in migrants who have been sent to the city from other states, including Texas and Arizona.

Texas has bused over 3,300 migrants to NYC since August 5, according to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office. At the same time, the City of El Paso has bused at least 7,330 migrants to NYC since August 23, in its operation apart from Texas’ state-run operation.

The influx has reportedly strained the city’s homeless shelter system.

NYC’s homeless shelter system is now bursting with more than 63,300 people. There are fewer families in NYC’s homeless shelters now than in recent years, but the number of single men has soared since the spring.

There were more than 20,000 single adults in the city’s shelter system Monday, up 23% from July’s nightly average, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, NYC schools are also struggling with an influx of migrant children, looking for more bilingual educators. City Comptroller Brad Lander called for at least $34 million in additional school funding for the new migrant students.

Earlier this month, NYC Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency over the continued flow of migrants being bused to the city, calling the situation a “humanitarian crisis” that is “unsustainable” and will likely cost the city $1 billion by the end of this fiscal year.

Gov. Abbott criticized Adams’ declaration and the Biden administration’s handling of the border, saying, “Sanctuary cities like New York City experience a FRACTION of what Texas border communities face every day. We’ll continue busing migrants to NYC, DC, & Chicago to relieve our overwhelmed border towns until Biden does his job to secure the border.”

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Pllme
Pllme
1 month ago

They are not migrants, they are illeagle aliens. They are invaders of our country.

CBL
CBL
Reply to  Pllme
1 month ago

I guess the same could be said about your ancestors. Unless, you are of Native American descent.

john r
john r
Reply to  CBL
1 month ago

Very few countries in the world have open borders and in many countries the illegals would be put in prison. We have had immigration control for over 100 years in the United States. Why all of a sudden are these illegals being described as migrants? I have no issue with immigration but it should be done on a controlled and limited basis not just coming across the border.

Anna
Anna
Reply to  CBL
1 month ago

My ancestors came through Ellis Island and they came legally!!! Big difference!!

Janet
Janet
Reply to  Anna
1 month ago

Only because they couldn’t swim across the Atlantic, and Europe doesn’t border the United States. Maybe they should have bused you to Mexico.

JustSaying
JustSaying
Reply to  Pllme
1 month ago

Technically, if they are from Mexico (not other areas) then they were here before Texas became a Republic. Therefore, they are just coming back to an area they already lived in and shouldn’t be considered illegal. (also includes California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico)

Anna
Anna
1 month ago

Kudos to Governor Greg Abbott for his busing efforts to liberal sanctuary cities. Keep it up Governor Abbott!!! Maybe #ApplesauceBrainsBiden our pedophile in chief will do his job and close the borders to stop this invasion of our country!!!! Here’s hoping 🥂