Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz responds with contempt at the facilities contained in the vast new emergency shelter built by New York in response to the influx of migrants, suggesting that city leaders are not prioritizing homeless Americans.
Cruz responded on Thursday with a tweet about a message describing how sofas, Xbox consoles, 24/7 snacks and other amenities are on the 84,000 square foot page on Manhattan’s Randalls Island. The day before, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, unveiled the shelter, calling it a humanitarian response to red state governors carrying migrants into the city. Earlier, city officials alerted that rising numbers of migrants threatened to overwhelm New York’s already tense shelter system.
The city has built the facility in weatherproof tents that include 500 cots for single men brought into the city from border states, according to a report by WNYW, a Fox News affiliate referenced by Cruz.
The shelter also has a laundry room, a cafeteria, telephones, TV sets and telephones – informs the station. Families with children will be accommodated in hotels, and the men in the hostel, mainly from Latin America, will have three meals a day with culturally homely food and snacks.
“It really sucks being a homeless American in New York,” Cruz said in a tweet. “#DemsAmericaLast“.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott in April began transporting thousands of asylum seekers to New York and Washington. Abbott, a Republican, justified sending migrants to Democratic-led jurisdictions citing earlier statements by city leaders proclaiming to accept immigrants. Abbott also complained that his state was overwhelmed by migrants and criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for border policy.
Adams said this month that New York City faced a “crisis” after more than 61,000 people entered its shelter system, including homeless New Yorkers and imported migrants.
The Legal Aid Society and the New York Coalition for the Homeless issued a press release on October 12, announcing that days earlier, the New York shelter system had hit a new one-day record of sheltering 62,174 people. The groups called on Adams to “commit to funding at least 6,000 housing a year for the homeless [families] and 6,000 apartments per year for extremely low-income households ”.
Jacquelyn Simone, director of homeless coalition policy, said: Newsweek in an interview that before the influx of migrants, the city’s shelter system already had a low vacancy rate. She said shelters are already seeing increased demand following the expiry of the COVID-19 eviction moratorium, and rents have continued to rise.
Now, she said, the average length of stay in shelters has increased to more than 500 days in all populations.
“More people go in and fewer people leave the shelters,” she said.
Simone said the new shelter on Randalls Island has emerged outside of the city’s regular shelter system, and it is unclear if the “break” will solve the bed shortage. The new site aims to provide temporary housing for migrants to identify their needs and help with transportation if New York is not their intended destination, she said.
“But I think there is also a very large proportion of the people who come from the southern border who will have to enter the larger shelter system because they don’t have stable housing or other long-term shelter options in the city,” she said. He said.
Simone added that migrants will find it difficult to find permanent housing without a subsidy or work permit.
Responding to Cruz’s tweet, she said temporary and permanent shelters had room for improvement, saying, “I don’t think it is useful to put disadvantaged groups against each other.”
Newsweek contacted Adams’s office for comment.