As New York struggles to find housing for migrants arriving in the city, Mayor Eric Adams is considering housing them on cruise ships, reports the New York Times. “We’re examining everything, from the legality of using any type of cruise ship for temporary housing,” the mayor told WCBS-TV. “We’re looking at everything to see how do we deal with this.” The mayor’s chief of staff, Frank Carone, has spoken with Norwegian Cruise Line to discuss the possibility of housing asylum seekers on one of its ships. Carone stayed on one of the company’s cruise ships in France, last month, as part of the administration’s research.
Adams met with the company’s chief executive, Frank Del Rio, in June. At the time, the city had just begun to see an uptick in migrants. The city has said that more than 11,000 people have arrived from the border since May, many sent on buses by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Although many have a place to go, the population of the city’s main shelter system has jumped by 10,000 since mid-May, an increase of 22 percent, and grew by 1,500 in one week this month. Adams called the situation a “humanitarian crisis” in national television interviews on Sunday. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg considered putting homeless families on a cruise ship in 2002, when New York City’s homeless shelter system had 36,000 people. The Bloomberg administration abandoned the idea after receiving criticism. Deborah Diamant of for the Coalition for the Homeless called the cruise ship idea insulting and it raised concerns over providing people access to transportation, food and schools. She said it was part of a campaign by Adams, who has cleared encampments, to try making homeless crisis less visible.