By STEVE BITTENBENDER
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – The number of migrants seeking asylum in New York City has waned in recent weeks.
However, Mayor Eric Adams said Thursday the nation’s largest city is still getting enough to open yet another relief center.
The third Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center will soon open 175 rooms at the Hotel Wolcott in Midtown Manhattan with a focus on providing shelter and resources for single women and adult families coming to New York, according to a release from the mayor’s office.
“Our teams will continue to work with these families and assess if they want to actually stay in New York City and, if not, help them get to their desired destinations,” Mayor Adams said. “As we continue to provide support to the more than 16,800 people in our care, we continue to work with federal and state partners to seek financial assistance as we deal with this unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”
The release states the estimated number of asylum seekers in the city is at least 22,600. That is a larger population than the city of Ithaca and would be approaching the largest 100 cities in the state.
Since the migrants have been arriving in New York from southern states, the city says it has taken action to ensure those individuals receive care and resources. That includes converting 57 hotels into emergency shelters and enrolling kids in the city’s public school system.
Thursday’s announcement followed a story by the New York Post the day before that a nearly empty tent city on Randalls Island that cost $325,000 to construct was being occupied by more than 100 men from Senegal, an African country. The Post reported the tent cities include laundry service and a lounge with a flat-screen television and video games.
Nearly a month ago, Mayor Adams issued an emergency order calling the situation a “crisis.” He said the city expects to spend $1 billion to address it by the end of the fiscal year next June.
But city officials have no plans to turn away the arrivals.
“The strength and history of our city is largely a story of immigrants,” said New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “As people seeking asylum continue to arrive at our doorstep, we remain steadfast in supporting them as they build new lives and become part of our city’s rich mosaic.”