New York City is considering using hotels to house asylum-seeking migrants from the nation’s southern border, Mayor Eric Adams said Thursday.
An estimated 3,000 asylum seekers, largely from Latin America, have come to the city over the past several weeks seeking shelter, he said at a press conference.
Those migrants — who are in the country illegally — are being transported to the city by the federal government, or are arriving from border states such as Texas and Arizona, he said.
The Daily Mail reported that Gov. Kathy Hochul said in June that abandoned hotels across the city were going to be turned into permanent shelters for homeless people.
“We are all in this together to deal with this influx of innocent people who are seeking asylum or fleeing wars, who are fleeing crises in their own country,” Mr. Adams said Thursday. “New York is one of the few states where you have a right to shelter. One of the few. We’re not like those who are sending people away during their time and needs. We are representative of what this country stands for, and we will always continue.”
Mr. Adams did note that four families were not able to receive proper shelter accommodations and had to sleep on the floor of an intake center.
New York established its legal right to shelter for homeless men in the late 1970s and it was expanded to include homeless families by the late 1980s in multiple court cases, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.
The press conference stands in contrast to the tone Mr. Adams took earlier in the week.
When speaking with reporters on Tuesday, the mayor said that the surge in migrants coming “is a real burden on New Yorkers as we’re trying to do the right thing.”
“We already have an overburdened shelter system,” Mr. Adams continued. “So now we’re talking about food, clothing, schools. This is going to impact our schools because we do not turn away individuals because they are undocumented.”
On both Tuesday and Thursday, the mayor said that he is in contact with the Biden administration about providing emergency cash assistance to the city so they can aid the asylum seekers.