Nov 10 (Reuters) – New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday ordered a 1,000-bed shelter for migrants to be shut less than a month after it opened to house a wave of mostly Latin American immigrants who were being sent to the city on buses from the southern border.
The city had opened the facility on Oct. 19 on Randall’s Island, an uninhabited, windswept island that is used mostly as parkland, after Adams declared a state of emergency over the migrant crisis on Oct. 7.
Adams said at the time that more than 17,000 migrants had arrived on buses since April, overwhelming the city’s homeless shelters. Thousands of them had been sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who in an attempt to call attention to migrants arriving on the southern border sent them to cities in the north.
Adams said New York was targeted because its “functional and compassionate system” to shelter the homeless could be “exploited by others for political gain.”
But the flow of migrants into the city slowed just as the shelter got started, Adams said on Thursday. Those currently in the shelter would be moved to a hotel in Manhattan that can accommodate 600 asylum seekers.
“While they continue to arrive, the speed at which the number of single adult males seeking asylum in New York City has slowed in recent weeks and, as such, the city will demobilize the Randall’s Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center next week,” the Adams statement said, while also repeating his previous pleas for state and federal money to deal with the migrants.
The sprawling facility cost at least $650,000 to build, the New York Daily News reported.
New York has opened 58 hotels as emergency shelters and three humanitarian relief centers to accommodate the arrivals of migrants already, Adams said. (Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Sandra Maler)