Aug 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Central Park among options "on the table" to house influx of migrants in NYC

Migrants on sidewalk outside Roosevelt Hotel

Migrants gather outside of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, where dozens of recently arrived migrants have been camping out as they try to secure temporary housing. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

New York City is considering housing migrants in Central Park and Prospect Park.

Driving the news: The city is running out of measures for the tens of thousands of migrants who come seeking asylum. Now, "everything is on the table," Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom said at a news conference on Wednesday.

  • Dozens of people have been camping on the sidewalk outside the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, which is being used as an arrival center for migrants.

The big picture: New York City has a "right to shelter" law, which provides a bed to anyone who requests one.

  • But, the system is overextended.
  • "We have no more room," Mayor Eric Adams said in July.

By the numbers: More than 95,000 asylum seekers have arrived in NYC since last spring, per the mayor's office.

  • More than 1,300 asylum applications have been submitted since the city launched a health center in June.
  • The city has opened 194 sites, including 14 humanitarian release centers, for asylum seekers.

What they're saying: City officials have urged the federal government and other cities to support the influx of migrants, in an effort to offload some of the pressure on NYC.

  • "This is a humanitarian issue about real people and real lives," Williams-Isom said. "Asylum seekers are coming here to seek the American dream."
  • The city could manage the migrant crisis better if the amount of people coming in slowed down, she said.

Flashback: A shelter on Randalls Island, the first tent camp for migrants in the city, closed about a month after it opened in 2022 because of the unexpected arrival of more people.

Go deeper: First buses carrying migrants from NYC arrive in New York suburb

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