NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — Asylum seekers continue to be bused into New York City, adding to the stress on services already pushed beyond their means.
Mayor Eric Adams and advocates for immigrants are desperate to find a safe place to care for asylum seekers as more and more come in every day.
The latest group arrived at the Port Authority bus terminal on Thursday morning and more than a dozen buses are expected by the end of the week.
Officials say 65,000 asylum seekers have come through the city so far, including 4,200 last week alone.
After backlash from a Brooklyn community, the city moved migrants it had temporarily put in a school gymnasium out into other housing.
Adams said Wednesday that more than half of the city’s hotels are now occupied by migrants and they’re struggling to find more hotels willing to take on sheltering migrants.
His office clarified Thursday that he meant to say that asylum seekers are being sheltered at over 40% of the hotels with 51 to 200 units.
“New York is doing more than any other city to shelter asylum seekers,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Asylum seekers are currently being sheltered at over 40 percent of the hotels with 51 to 200 units. We are utilizing more than 150 sites, the vast majority being midsized hotels, to shelter the more than 41,000 asylum seekers currently in our care. For months, we’ve been asking our state and federal partners for support and to come up with a decompression strategy that takes the pressure off of New York City.”
Sullivan County officials said Thursday that it will house 80 asylum seekers at the Knights Inn in Liberty New York. But county officials say they got less than 24 hours notice from New York City leaders.
The county has declared a State of Emergency in response, joining Orange and Rockland counties.
“We fear that this will displace a number of our otherwise-homeless residents, who we house in this and other lodging establishments,” Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty said in a statement.
On Friday the Roosevelt Hotel, which hasn’t been open for business since before COVID, becomes the city’s new welcome center for migrants, and likely a shelter for some families as well.
Nonprofits that have been helping new arrivals said buses arriving at the Port Authority bus terminal will either be redirected or there will be a quick transfer, which ultimately will be helpful but in the next few days might cause some confusion.
“They’re officially going to shut down operations here at the Port Authority, so that means that migrants are going to have to find their way to the new welcome center,” said activist Power Malu.
Activists like Malu, who have been helping new arrivals at the Welcome Center at the Port Authority Bus Terminal since last summer, are worried that new people arriving will be stranded until the new center is up and running at the Roosevelt, operated by NYC Health + Hospitals.
He says the city hasn’t communicated well with the advocates on the ground.
At this point, the city projects spending more than $4 billion over the next two fiscal years as a result of the migrant crisis, and as of now only 37% of that is expected to be covered by state and federal money.
WATCH: NYC officials call on White House for help with migrant placement
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