NYC Moves Illegal Immigrant Tent City to Randall’s Island

New York City is moving its tent city for around 16,000 immigrants from the Bronx to Randall’s Island citing flooding problems caused by weekend storms.

Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, announced the move on Monday night saying the relocation of the $150 million Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center was the “most efficient and effective path forward.” The project had already commenced construction.

“New York City has, on its own, safely and efficiently provided shelter, health care, education, and a host of other services to more than 16,000 asylum seekers pursuing a better life over the last few months,” Adams said in a statement.

Adams said the original shelter in a parking lot at Orchard Beach in the Bronx would have been salvageable if the city put in necessary ponding mitigation measures. But ultimately, it decided to move the center. Work is already underway to erect the tent city on Randall’s Island.

large tents
A land surveyor walks by large tents being constructed in a parking lot at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, New York, on Sept. 28, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“This new location is less prone to flooding, is closer to public transportation, and will provide temporary respite to 500 asylum seekers,” Adams said.

“We expect this site to open in approximately the same timeframe as the originally planned location, and we continue to build out our options and explore additional sites as we handle this humanitarian crisis created by human hands.”

Tent City Could Cost Up to $1 Billion

According to the city’s comptroller, the city could spend in the short term between $500 million and $1 billion to temporarily house immigrants recently released into the United States by federal authorities after claiming asylum.

Comptroller Brad Lander told Bloomberg News on Sept. 30 that the city hadn’t budgeted for the expense. The camp is expected to house around 1,000 people once finished in five giant, heated tents.

The tent city is intended to be a temporary processing center, providing accommodation for four days before immigrants are processed into the city’s shelter system, which has been overwhelmed.

As a self-described sanctuary city, NYC is “legally and morally obligated” to provide short-term housing to individuals who need a place to stay, the city’s Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary Jenkins said during an emergency hearing on Aug. 9.

Overwhelmed by the influx of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers being bused from cities and towns along the U.S.-Mexico border, NYC has turned to hotels to provide emergency housing.

NYC has also reportedly turned to a Norwegian cruise liner to house the city’s homeless and asylum seekers for a period of six months. Advocates for immigrants and the homeless have criticized that option, saying it could make it hard for individuals to access jobs and other services.

Between Texas and Arizona, around 10,000 immigrants have been bused to NYC since April. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has said the state’s border towns are unable to cope with the ongoing influx. He attributes the unprecedented numbers of illegal entries to the soft border policies of the Biden administration.

Mayor Adams Under Pressure

Adams has painted Abbott as a “villain” in the situation, although El Paso, a Democrat-run city, has been busing illegal immigrants out of Texas as well.

Other NYC lawmakers have criticized Adams for the city being unprepared to follow through on its codified “right to shelter” policies. The criticism came in the wake of an immigrant committing suicide in a NYC shelter on Sept. 18.

“It is an indictment of the highest order that this woman, seeking refuge, arrived in New York City and was so overcome with hopelessness that she decided to end her life,” Democratic state Sen. Jessica Ramos of Queens said in a statement. “Her act was a direct response to the lack of care provided by the City.”

“There is no excuse for a failure of this magnitude,” she added, suggesting the city reconsider the right to shelter laws because it isn’t clear that under Adams, the city “is taking the responsibility it has to people in its care seriously.”

This is the same problem facing border states in the south, which have been calling for help and warning that uncontrolled arrivals of immigrants and asylum seekers are overwhelming the system and result in their poor care. They have been calling for law and order as a priority in order for true refugees to safely enter and remain in the United States, and for illegal immigrants to be prevented from entering and taking up resources.

From The Epoch Times

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