New York, Aug 15 (EFE).- New York City has already received 97,000 undocumented immigrants in the last 12 months and the number is expected to top 100,000 by next weekend, Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro said Tuesday.
More than 60,000 of the 97,000 migrants remain under the care of the municipal government with regard to lodging, food, and schooling for their children, he told reporters during a tour of a new temporary shelter on the grounds of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in the borough of Queens.
The Creedmoor shelter, consisting of several large tents, can accommodate 1,000 adult migrant men and includes a dining area and a check-in facility as well as portable showers and toilets.
Part of the cost of the Creedmoor site is being borne by New York state in the face of repeated complaints by Big Apple Mayor Eric Adams that the city doesn’t have the resources to cope with the massive influx of migrants.
Adams said last week that the city administration expects to spend $12 billion dealing with the situation over the next two years.
“This cannot fall on the shoulders of just New York City and New York state alone,” Castro said Tuesday. “We continue to be a city of immigrants, but we are not a city of unlimited resources.”
The first group of around 100 occupants was expected to arrive at the Creedmoor shelter by Tuesday evening.
More than 200 emergency shelters have been opened across the city, according to Emergency Management Commissioner Zack Iscol, and another tent city is scheduled to open on Randall’s Island early next week.
New York City is an attractive destination for immigrants to the United States because of abundant employment opportunities and because of its right-to-shelter ordinance, which mandates the provision of shelter to anyone who needs it.
Amid the flood of migrants, Adams has set a 60-day limit for residence in a public shelter. At the end of that time, a person unable to find private accommodation must re-apply for a spot in a shelter.
One obstacle to migrants’ being able to find housing is the need to obtain a work permit from the federal government, which takes 12 months on average, and Adams has called on President Joe Biden’s administration to expedite the process. EFE rh-fjo/dr