Photo Editorial credit: lev radin
May 13, 2023
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the launch of the city’s first asylum seeker arrival center and the placement of what will be the city’s ninth Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center as hundreds of asylum seekers continue to arrive in New York City each day. The Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, which has been closed for nearly three years, will host the arrival center and deliver on a key commitment in Mayor Adams’ “Blueprint to Address New York City’s Response to the Asylum Seeker Crisis” — serving as a centralized intake center for all arriving asylum seekers and providing migrants with access to a range of legal, medical, and reconnection services, as well as placement, if needed, in a shelter or humanitarian relief center. Asylum seekers currently in the city’s care will also be able to visit the arrival center to access the host of services currently available to them. Beginning later this week, The Roosevelt Hotel will open up 175 rooms for children and families, until it is scaled to approximately 850 rooms. An additional 100 to 150 rooms will be held for asylum seekers in transition to other locations. With the number of asylum seekers arriving in New York City expected to rapidly accelerate as Title 42 has now lifted, Mayor Adams also renewed calls to the state and federal government for additional support as the city faces this crisis.
“With the opening of yet another humanitarian relief center, we continue to ask for our federal and state partners for a real decompression strategy and hope to open and operate temporary shelters across the state and nation, as New York City has reached its capacity,” said Mayor Adams. “New York City has now cared for more than 65,000 asylum seekers — already opening up over 140 emergency shelters and eight large-scale humanitarian relief centers in addition to this one to manage this national crisis. While this new arrival center and humanitarian relief center will create hundreds of good-paying, union jobs and provide the infrastructure to help asylum seekers reach their final destination, without federal or state assistance, we will be unable to continue treating new arrivals and those already here with the dignity and care that they deserve.”
“With the expiration of Title 42, we know that we may face an even larger number of individuals and families seeking asylum in New York City or passing through to their final destination,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “While we are responding to the immediate need, this is a time to, once again, call upon the state and federal government to do more to support the city’s efforts and share the burden of this humanitarian crisis.”
“New York City’s new arrival center consolidates social, medical, financial, and legal services under one roof to greet asylum seekers with the resources they need to complete their long journeys,” said Ted Long, MD, MHS, senior vice president, Ambulatory Care and Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals. “The streamlining of these services will help asylum seekers more readily navigate their needs so that they can take their next steps. Our ninth Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center builds upon the success of our work at other centers supporting families with children, offering medical care, nutrition, mental health support, language access, connection to schools, technology, and reunification services. I am proud to be a part of the Adams administration that has met the demands of an unprecedented crisis with an unprecedented response.”
“This agreement is a win-win-win. It allows an iconic hotel to reopen its doors, hundreds of union workers to return to their good-paying jobs, and thousands of asylum seekers to have a safe place to stay,” said Rich Maroko, president, New York Hotel & Gaming Trades Council. “We are proud to have negotiated an extraordinary settlement with The Roosevelt Hotel that not only restores union jobs but also provides tens of millions of dollars in compensation for workers that were without jobs since the start of the pandemic. We thank Mayor Adams for his leadership and commitment to protecting the interests of workers while continuing to address the needs of migrant families.”
Asylum seekers arriving in New York City will be directed to the arrival center. In the coming weeks, services offered at the arrival center will include New York City Department of Education school enrollment, Fair Fares enrollment, IDNYC, health insurance enrollment, mental health counseling, reticketing, and various services offered by community-based organizations.
Since this humanitarian crisis began, New York City has — largely on its own — taken fast and urgent action, managing the arrival of a rapidly increasing number of buses across New York City with virtually no coordination from states sending them — opening 140 sites as emergency shelters and eight currently operating large-scale humanitarian relief centers already to shelter the 65,000+ asylum seekers who have arrived in New York City, standing up a navigation center to connect asylum seekers with critical resources, enrolling thousands of children in public schools through Project Open Arms, and more.