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Queens Lawmakers Want Asylum Seekers Housed in Hotels, Not Tent City on Randall’s Island

From L to R: Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani, Councilmember Julie Won and Councilmember Shekar Krishnan. The lawmakers will take part in a rally outside City Hall at noon Thursday to urge the mayor to stop the construction of a tent city on Randall’s Island. (Photos: Governor’s Office, NY Assembly, Michael Dorgan, NYC Council))

Oct. 12, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

Several Queens lawmakers are calling on the mayor to scrap his plans to house asylum seekers in a tent city on Randall’s Island – and instead find them better accommodation, such as hotel rooms.

Four Queens legislators — Assemblymembers Catalina Cruz and Zohran Mamdani, as well as Councilmembers Julie Won and Shekar Krishnan – will rally outside City Hall at noon Thursday to urge the mayor to stop the construction of the tent city. They will be joined by several other city and state lawmakers.

The tent city is being erected as a form of emergency accommodation to house an influx of asylum seekers to the city in recent months – many of whom have been bused by the governors of Texas and Florida. Around 17,000 asylum seekers have come to New York City from the southern border since April, according to the mayor.

However, the lawmakers say the tent city will not be safe as it will be prone to flooding. They point to a proposal to construct a similar structure in the Bronx that was scrapped last week after rain filled the tents with water.

The lawmakers also say the tents do not provide adequate protection against cold or wind, especially as temperatures are set to drop over the coming weeks.

The legislators say there are better ways to house the migrants including at shuttered hotels throughout the city.

Last week Speaker Adrienne Adams identified 10 closed hotels in Manhattan which she said could be used to house the migrants.

Other alternatives the lawmakers suggest include freeing up the city’s shelters by moving current tenants into permanent housing. The mayor said last week that out of 61,000 people living in city shelters, one in five is a migrant.

Another proposal, they say, would be to open housing assistance programs to undocumented immigrants.

Krishnan criticized the Randall’s Island plan last week and called on the mayor to do more.

“All New Yorkers have a right to clean, dignified and safe shelter – that includes our newest arrivals,” Krishnan said in a statement.

“The proposed tent system for Randall’s Island falls well short of these standards. We must do better for those who have been through so much to get here, as well as those who’ve long been through our homeless shelter system.”

Mayor Eric Adams greeting migrants at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in August (Official New York City government Twitter)

Tomorrow’s rally will come days after the mayor declared a state of emergency to help the city respond to the migrant crisis. The declaration suspended certain land-use requirements and paved the way for the tent city on Randall’s Island to go forward.

The mayor also called for federal and state aid to handle the continued influx of asylum seekers. He said that housing the asylum seekers will cost the city $1 billion this fiscal year.

“We now have a situation where more people are arriving in New York City than we can immediately accommodate, including families with babies and young children,” Adams said Friday.

“Once the asylum seekers from today’s buses are provided shelter, we would surpass the highest number of people in recorded history in our city’s shelter system.”

He also said that 42 hotels have been set up as emergency shelters and 5,500 migrant children have been enrolled in schools.

The city is also exploring a potential program for New Yorkers to host asylum seekers and the “unhoused” in their homes, according to CNN.

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66 Comments

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Celebrate diversity! Or else.

We know for sure those good-hearted, diversity-loving, liberal democrats in Martha’s Vineyard don’t want them. Can’t send them there.

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Thomas

It seems through social media the word is spreading that they will be put in hotels, get free phone, free food and free healthcare.
“While Colombia has offered temporary protected status to Venezuelan migrants, giving them access to jobs and healthcare, for 10 years, many have decided to try to travel to the United States, according to sources in Colombia’s migration agency.“

https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/thousands-wait-boats-colombia-migrant-crisis-grows-2022-10-12/

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Greg

Tired of media saying they were forced to come to NYC and other areas Northeast. In all honesty, they were moved to an area with real opportunity and accommodations. NYC is a sanctuary city and one of the most diverse and coolest cities in the world. I will miss this city because I am moving to Tampa, Fl.

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Jim

People from other countries are not born with the right to come to the United States. Hispanic politicians, the Catholic Church, the Democratic Party, restaurants and others want these migrants to continue to come here. There has to be a policy. People from other countries can’t determine our immigration policy.

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free for all

we are a sanctuary city we need to help these people, they deserve a buffet breakfast every day, nice spread with pancakes, OJ and bacon. Then an instant drivers license, a free home and health care and 1 million cash in their bank account

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Anonymous

None of the “asylum “ seekers qualify for asylum under current U.S. policy. That have been coached as to how to file false asylum claims to establish a toehold in the U.S. They will then take advantage of claims that it is cruel, racist or just mean to make them leave when their asylum claims are rightfully rejected.

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Anonymous

Each one of the politicians should open up their living rooms to a family. Watch how fast they change their tune to, “Not me!”

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Boycott paying taxes!

These clowns can’t even fix the heating in one nycha building but these people get luxury hotel rooms. What about all the native homeless they get nothing while people who came here illegally order room service. I’m sure the tourists will come back to NYC after dealing with this. These politicians have zero independent thought and are completely brainwashed to service the party agenda. Insane! I think I want my tax money back!

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She said we should take the bus and leave

I want them housed in THEIR PERSONAL HOMES. I think that is only fair, since they seem to enjoy sticking the taxpayers with their brilliant ideas.

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AOC for president 2024

Don’t be racist, NYC can take at least 5 million more migrants. If you are against migrants, you are racist.

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Madd Donna

AOC will never become President. Pick another crazy dream. Also, America, NYS and NYC will never become full on socialist. Always calling on that bogus racist this, racist that card and it’s getting old!! Bunch of boring cry babies the lot of you.

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Debra

Even though i do not live near a hotel i know most will end up roaming NYC and my neighborhood because i am near shopping and a subway. Its terrible already. Someone needs to tell them about staying safe in Nyc and following our laws. Tired of many congregating on sidewalks asking for money to buy food, littering, urinating, not following pedestrian safety when crossing the street, emptying the snack isles at market and many walking around ready to fight white and blk NYers because they think we all racists.

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Obama built a lot of border security

Good point, Trump had to use what Obama built.

Why didn’t he build a border wall with Mexico like he promised?

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It's Brandon's America - you are just a renter!

Uh, illegal immigration was virtually stopped under Trump. But since Brandon hates Trump, he opened up the border.

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JM Maspeth

Yeah, but what Obama didn’t do was rip babies and little kids out of their hysterical mothers arms and ship them across the country, in many cases to be lost in the system, while sticking their parents in prison. Cages, terrible as they were as an emergency solution, are one thing; cruel and callous family separation policies, put in place purely as a deterrence (which they admitted) is a whole other level of depraved sub-human treatment, thought up and executed by people who themselves have children but are seemingly utterly devoid of empathy and humanity.

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Jolene

Can someone focus on fixing NYCHA!!!!!! Its getting colder by the day and I still have no heat! WON HELP US PLEASE!!!!!!

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progressives don't care about citizens

Won does care about nycha citizens just the photo shoot. She cares more for foreigners than you. The sooner you learn that the better off you’ll be.

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JoeBama Magoo

sorry, you’re not an illegal. they take priority since their vote matters next month.

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Aleiah

What is the President and the Governor doing? This is not just Mayor Adams PROBLEM!! So tired of the way they treat and ignore our Mayor. Its like they want him to fail.

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Natalie

Finally the issue is getting some attention, media didn’t care when Adam said to house them in tents. These people belong in hotels until we build more Affordable housing or allow to apply for rent vouchers as soon as possible.

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Rosita

Asylum seekers can not be put into tents. They have suffered enough. Putting them in tents is disgusting, sinful and criminal. I applaud all the politicians standing up for human and immigrant rights. They are the heroes of our time.

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Joe

All you care about is letting as many Hispanic people in and giving them as many benefits as possible knowing that everyone else has to pay for it.

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C'mon Man

yes, agreed. the working class should have to pay $1000 a month in a new migrant tax to fund everything for the illegals. it’s only fair. everyone is a multi millionaire in this city, so i dont see why not.

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Francis

I just stayed at a hotel in Massachusetts that was being used to house migrants/homeless in vacant rooms. While not a “luxury hotel” it was several hundred dollars a night and we were on the same floor as migrants/homeless people who were up all night arguing and making noise. They obliterated the complimentary breakfast bar in the morning and walked the grounds in their pajamas all day, not a care in the world, all for free. Absolutely horrible experience. The poor cleaning staff lady that I spoke to said they are constantly harassed and subjected all sorts of demands by these non-paying “guests”. We will now be asking whenever we make reservations if the hotel is being used as a shelter and will never again stay at a place that is.

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ZooYork

please provide the name and address of the hotel so everyone is aware not to ever go there.

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Heidi

Most hotels do not have a place to prepare food. Therefore most asylum seekers will have to have food delivered or eat out. This may help the struggling restaurants in the area trying to get by and stay open. Please support Latino owned business. And also hire staff that speak Spanish.

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Wu

They should put most of them in Staten Island where many people do not want them. Many of them are racists. Send a bunch of them to live in Holden’s district here in Queens also.

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Just saying

Wu ,sounds like you’re a racist against people who live in Staten Island and Holden’s district.

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Xavi

I have never stayed in a hotel this type of. And I think I never will . I’m a immigrant became citizen my grandparents came here on visa then applied for permanent resident. We follow same process. I make a honest living and live paycheck to paycheck. These people just come here like this 😡. It’s not right not fair . Then we going to end up paying the price for them . No no way it’s not right . 👎👎👎

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Kimberly

It’s nice of them to want to shelter the migrants in luxury hotels in the area. I worked here all my life and never was able to stay in a hotel in the city.

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Selma

PEOPLE IN NYC HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING PERMANENT HOUSING , NOW WE HAVE TO COMPETE WITH IMIGRANTS FOR HOUSING!

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angrynewyorker

hotels in their neighborhoods, not mine. I am surrounded by hotels/motels that are like this. Crime is on the streets during the day with these same “law-makers” not doing single thing about it. Not even on their agenda.

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Anonymous

They should set an example and allow migrants to stay in their homes . Until they do that, they are all hypocrites.

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build tents in Central Park that will wake up the limousine liberals

One hotel they are housing them in is $400 a night a month and a half would pay my rent for the year. I’m grateful we can pay our rent and bills. I can help feeling that there are American citizens that could use this help and deserve it more. This is a total waste of tax payers money.
This is on all you Democrat voters. Schools failing the kids already in the system and now adding thousands more. I have no party affiliation but it seems obvious that Democrats hate this country and have been doing a terrible job across the board. What happened to that party? it’s a damn shame.

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Jim

Yes, let’s put them in luxury hotels, give them financial aid, free medical care, free cars, free TV’s, free food. Anything else would be inhumane. I want to quit my job go to Texas and get a free bus ride back to NYC. Thanks progressives. Oh, by the way I’m sure once you give them automatic citizenship they’ll vote for you and keep you in office forever.

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Madd Donna

Reminder these same clowns are trying to push a law so that illegal aliens have the right to vote in our local elections too. Self-serving S.O.Bs!!

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Rosita

no need for citizenship. they will loose all the free services they get. they can already vote. being an illegal is the best lottery win ever!

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LIC direct

These politicians should open their homes to the economic refugees from Venezuela, central and South America coming to our city, conflicts with our own homegrown native homeless brewing in the shelter hotel system. Instead of paying hotels hundreds of dollars per day to house them in crappy hotels, pay individuals, homeowners the same Amount of money to house them in real homes and take them in. I’m sure there are hundreds of families willing to rent out a room, a basement in there home to a hard working immigrant.

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Republicans Believe in Myths, Fairytales, Invisible Gods and Conspiracy Theories

No more hotel rip off scams. Take an unused plane hangar at Kennedy Airport. Refurbish with cots, insulation and add heat, ports potty’s and a shower area. The national guard is actually trained to meet this challenge. City council is very generous with tax payers money to the point of being irresponsible.

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Heidi

why when you can double everyone’s income tax to pay for all this. even increase property taxes. take $1000 a month from everyone’s pay to support the illegals! so courageous and brave!

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Queue jumpers

Why stop there? Why not give them new cars and the latest iPhone? Nothing is too good for illegal aliens.

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JimmyBags

Queue jumpers correctly calls them illegal aliens. Elected officials and media continue to disrespect you by labelling them migrants and asylum seekers. Change the terminology to deflect from reality.

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Heidi

Joey needs to print more money. the economy is already at 0% inflation. thank goodness there’s no election going on next month so the money printing and high crime can continue. ukraine needs another 100 billion after all.

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