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NYC Shifts Plans For Migrant ‘Tent City’ To Randalls Island

New York City officials scaled down plans for a tent city to shelter migrants and moved it to a more centralized location amid criticism from advocates and neighborhood groups. Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday that the city would explore additional options to accommodate 15,000 migrants who have entered its shelter system since May, the Wall Street Journal reports. They include people from Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela who entered the U.S. illegally but are seeking asylum. Many arrived on buses chartered by Republicans in Texas and Arizona who say they are seeking to share the burden of a record migrant surge with states and cities led by Democrats. Adams said last month that the city would build a tent city in a parking lot in a remote part of the Bronx with room for 1,000 people. Some local residents protested the plan. The parking lot flooded over the weekend from the remnants of Hurricane Ian.

The new center will be located on Randalls Island, which sits between Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, Adams said. Randalls Island and adjoining Wards Island are home to a sewage treatment plant, homeless shelters and recreational fields as well as the footings of several bridges. “We pivot and shift based on the needs,” the mayor said. Randalls Island has a higher elevation and is more cost effective, officials said. The first facility will serve single men, but additional facilities are planned for families. The temporary facilities will offer arriving migrants food, clothing, shower facilities, medical screening and shelter for a few days. People can then find housing with friends or family, travel to other cities or enter New York’s system of homeless shelters. City officials and nonprofit groups are providing initial assessment and services in a portion of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.


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