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NYC has opened a new migrant center on Randall's Island

The housing facility can house up to 3,000 people. But this isn’t the first time the city has built tents on Randall's Island.
NYC has opened a new migrant center on Randall's Island
Posted at 8:52 PM, Aug 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-21 20:53:12-04

Jose Conde is just one day into his new home. The Venezuelan asylum-seeker arrived in New York City about three months ago. He says he's grateful, but the new shelter facility on Randall's Island is his second stop through the city's migrant system. Previously, he was at a Staten Island shelter. 

"Where we were before it was a hotel, a 3-star hotel I believe. But since this shelter here is for single adult men, then we were transferred here," said Conde.

City Hall opened its new migrant complex on Randall's Island's youth soccer fields Sunday. 

"It's not proper housing. It's not permanent, it's just a quick fix to alleviate something," said Ashanta Smith, a New York City resident.

SEE MORE: Gov. Hochul criticizes NYC Mayor Adams over handling of migrants

The city’s move is already facing opposition. 

"In all reality, it is taking up space from youth, teens and people who can utilize the facility," said Smith.

The housing facility can house up to 3,000 people. But this isn’t the first time the city has built tents on Randall's Island. Last fall, officials shut down the facility less than a month after it was opened because the pace of migrants arriving slowed.  

On Monday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a deal reached by the state and federal government, allowing the use of Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn to house asylum seekers. 

The governor's statement read in part, "after months of negotiations, the Biden administration has provided us with a tentative contract that would allow New York to utilize Floyd Bennett field as a shelter for asylum seekers. Once the final agreement is signed, we will work with Mayor Adams and his team to set up a humanitarian emergency relief and response center at Floyd Bennett field."

Gov. Hochul said the state will pay for the operation of the new facility.  


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