New York City opened a tent complex last week that can house up to 1,000 migrants, but it is housing fewer than 50 people as the flow of publicly funded buses from border states to the north has slowed. Mayor Eric Adams ordered the relief center on Randalls Island to be built for $325,000 after he declared a state of emergency this month, the Wall Street Journal reports. Adams said thousands of migrants arriving on buses sent by the state of Texas and the city of El Paso were overwhelming New York’s social services. The shelter complex’s opening on Oct. 19 coincided with a drop in the number of Venezuelans entering the U.S. illegally after the Biden administration announced an agreement to expel many of them to Mexico, according to border aid groups. Most migrants who have traveled north on buses in recent months have come from Venezuela, in part because the government-sponsored rides brought them to cities with large Venezuelan populations. The slowdown has given a reprieve to Democratic-run cities including New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., that have called for federal action to manage the tens of thousands of migrants sent on buses by officials in Texas and Arizona. The Republican governors of those states have said the burden of caring for migrants should rest on communities whose leaders support President Biden’s border policies. As of Wednesday morning, there were 40 people in the 84,000-square-foot Randalls Island complex, which has about 500 cots in each of its two large tents in a stadium parking lot. A Times Square hotel that the city converted on Oct. 14 into a relief center for migrants is housing 218 families with 759 individuals. Adams wouldn’t release exact figures but said the number of arriving buses had slowed from eight buses a day, to one every few days. “Clearly, the decompression strategy is helping New York City, Washington and Chicago—we were receiving the brunt of those buses in the northern part of the country,” he said.
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