May 5, 2023
NEW YORK – As New York’s shelter capacity continues to rise to the highest level in recorded history, New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced a new program to provide up to four months of temporary sheltering in nearby New York counties, outside of New York City, to single-adult men seeking asylum who are already in the city’s care. The program will launch with two hotels located in Orange Lake and Orangeburg, with the potential to expand, and will provide asylum seekers with shelter for up to four months as well as the same city-funded services available at Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Response Centers. Staff at participating hotels will also connect asylum seekers with community-based organizations and faith groups to support their transition to a new city. With the number of asylum seekers arriving in New York City rapidly accelerating ahead of Title 42’s lifting next week, and what is expected to be an even larger influx after May 11, the hotels in Orange Lake and Orangeburg will free up additional space in New York City for the hundreds of asylum seekers continuing to arrive in the five boroughs every day. Since last spring, over 60,800 asylum seekers have come through New York City and been offered a place to stay and over 37,500 asylum seekers are currently in the city’s care.
In addition to notifying New York state of these plans already, the mayors and county executives of both Orange Lake and Orangeburg, as well as other local leaders, have been notified of these plans. Mayor Adams also, today, continued to call for the state and federal governments to provide support to manage this crisis, including financial assistance, a national decompression strategy, expedited work authorization, real immigration reform, and more.
“Despite calling on the federal government for a national decompression strategy since last year, and for a decompression strategy across the state, New York City has been left without the necessary support to manage this crisis. With a vacuum of leadership, we are now being forced to undertake our own decompression strategy,” said Mayor Adams. “This new, voluntary program will provide asylum seekers with temporary housing, access to services, and connections to local communities as they build a stable life in New York state. New York City continues to step up and handle this crisis, and this new program is an extension of our compassionate response, but these actions do not mean we still don’t need urgent action, including a national decompression strategy, financial resources, expedited work authorization, and real immigration reform from Congress.”
“As we continue to call on additional support from the state and federal government, we are simultaneously finding ways to meet this increasing need,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “This new program provides additional housing options in neighboring counties for asylum seekers arriving in New York City. This is an issue we must all work together to address, as we have a shared responsibility in managing the influx of over 60,000 asylum seekers arriving to our city.”
“For the past year, we have been asking the federal government for support as we respond to this humanitarian crisis,” said Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro. “As asylum seekers continue to arrive to New York City seeking refuge, the city is continuing to respond and this program will provide a pathway for asylum seekers to access temporary housing, as they build their lives in the United States.”
“Mayor Adams and the city of New York are doing everything possible to offer dignity and respect to our newest neighbors as they seek asylum,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Through this program, the city is giving people options and providing compassionate support as they transition to a new life here including access to community-based organizations and faith groups. We will continue to support these efforts to help those who come to our country and arrive in our city seeking refuge.”
Beginning this week, the city will conduct outreach to asylum seekers already living in shelters and humanitarian relief centers as it looks to open the initial cohort of hotels in Orange Lake and Orangeburg in the coming weeks. Transfers to these two cities will be voluntary. The city will provide transportation from New York City to the hotels for asylum seekers who decide to participate.
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 122 hotels as emergency shelters and eight currently operating humanitarian relief centers already, standing up a navigation center to connect asylum seekers with critical resources, enrolling children in public schools through Project Open Arms, and more.