Immigrant Advocates Continue to Denounce Mayor Adams’ Ad-hoc Plan to Build Relief Camps for Asylum Seekers

New York, NY—Last night, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced his Administration will move the location of the City’s first so-called “Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center” for asylum seekers. Citing flooding that occurred over the weekend at Orchard Beach, the relief camps will be relocated to Randalls Island. The new site would accommodate 500 asylum seekers, about half the size of the previous site, in tents. The City says it will open additional relief camps across the city.

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:

"Mayor Adams continues to try to subvert New York's right-to-shelter law with his poorly-conceived plan to hide asylum seekers in relief camps in remote areas of New York that are prone to flooding. Despite the availability of underutilized buildings that are more accessible to mass transit and the social service needs of asylum seekers, the City continues to remain stubbornly committed to the development of relief camps across the five boroughs. Health, housing, and immigrant rights organizations have repeatedly asked the City to be included in the planning -- to ensure that the needs of these vulnerable communities are integrated into the Mayor's proposal -- but keep getting rebuffed. That's how we ended up here with a contractor who built the southern border wall, and one proposed site that has already flooded. We fear that the Randalls Island encampment will be no different. Without a real permanent solution to the shelter crisis these encampments will become a stain on New York's reputation as a welcoming city, and do nothing more than cause more harm to asylum seekers who have already been treated like pawns in a political game." 

Background: The New York Immigration Coalition’s Welcoming New York Campaign is advocating for a coordinated City, State and Federal response to asylum seekers being sent by bus from Texas to New York.