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Mayor Adams’ plan to use Brooklyn Cruise Terminal as emergency shelter for asylum seekers faces backlash

By MARCIA KRAMER

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    NEW YORK, NY (WCBS) — Mayor Eric Adams insists New York City has handled the asylum seeker crisis better than any other city in the nation, but his latest plan house migrants at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is facing some backlash.

Faced with an unending stream of asylum seekers and no help from the state or federal governments, the mayor likened it to the emergency steps taken by the city to deal with the pandemic, hurricanes and floods.

“We utilized ships during COVID-19. People forgot that. We used ships to house people. We opened tents in Central Park during COVID-19. We had trailers in front of hospitals because the morgues were overwhelmed. When there’s a crisis, you must use all your tools,” said Adams.

The mayor was responding to criticism to house 1,000 single adult men at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The new facility, unlike the tents at Randalls Island, will be in a fully-enclosed building, though there will be large rooms with cots, the city said.

Advocates have a lot of issues with the move, saying the migrants should remain in midtown hotels.

“Moving them to a remote corner of Brooklyn that’s not accessible to transportation and putting people in places where they don’t have their own room, you know, is not the best practice,” Legal Aid Society staff attorney Josh Goldfein said, “and it will make it harder for them to get integrated into the community and move out of shelter.”

Advocates also fear there could be flooding and other issues, like those that arose when the city tried to build an emergency intake center on Orchard Beach in the Bronx.

Still, Adams insisted New York City has done the best job of any locality.

“People are sleeping on the streets in El Paso. They’re sleeping in airports. I spoke to my colleague in Chicago. People are sleeping in the basement of libraries. No family is sleeping on our streets,” said Adams.

It was not immediately clear when the cruise terminal facility will be up and running. A spokesperson for the mayor said, “Hopefully soon.”

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