Single male illegal immigrants who find themselves in New York City are getting a major upgrade, as Mayor Eric Adams closes his $650,000 Tent City on Randall’s Island and moves the border-jumpers to The Watson Hotel, a 3.5-star luxury hotel, complete with a rooftop swimming pool, a fitness center, and fine dining, located just a block away from Central Park.
Citing a slowdown in the influx of arriving migrants to the city, Adams announced last week in an email to city councilmembers that the Randall’s facility will be closing after just a month, and the men would instead be housed at the hotel’s Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center (HERRC).
“This site was always intended to be temporary-and the City believes that the Watson Hotel HERRC is the most effective and efficient option for single adult men,” the email, obtained by the New York Post, reads.
The hotel, which charges $450 per night for average, legal citizens, will accommodate up to 600 adult male migrants.
— Crime in NYC (@CrimeInNYC) November 10, 2022
On October 18, Adams took to Twitter and touted his Tent City, named as such after it popped up on Google Maps with that moniker.
“Spent last night at Randall’s Island inspecting our facility to care for asylum seekers,” he proudly stated. “Care is the key word.”
“We’re providing medical care, places to sleep, connection to legal services, laundry and more,” he continued. “We didn’t ask for this crisis but we’re meeting the moment.”
Spent last night at Randall’s Island inspecting our facility to care for asylum seekers.
Care is the key word.
We’re providing medical care, places to sleep, connection to legal services, laundry and more.
We didn’t ask for this crisis but we’re meeting the moment. pic.twitter.com/GRAxwD4G50
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) October 18, 2022
Well, the “moment” is over. The controversial facility will be shut down by Wednesday, the Daily Mail reports, though the 147 National Guard troops Governor Kathy Hochul mobilized in October to “provide logistical and operational support” at the facility have been told it won’t fully close for a few weeks.
In the meantime, migrants are already arriving at The Watson, and, understandably, they’re pretty pleased with their new digs.
“We continue to welcome asylum seekers arriving in New York City with compassion and care,” Adams said in a statement.
The Watson “will provide asylum seekers with a place to stay, access support, and get to their final destination,” he added.
It will also provide them with an awesome place to relax with a cocktail. The Watson features a rooftop swimming pool, and the view is stunning.
As BizPac Review reported, the Randall’s Island facility was, from its inception, a controversial project, and it failed to attract the migrants it was built to assist.
When it opened last month, New York Immigration Coalition Executive Director Murad Awawdeh was quick to condemn it.
“The decision to open the Randall’s Island tent camp today is a stain on our city’s rich history of welcoming immigrants and morally reprehensible,” he stated. “By confining new asylum seekers to isolated tents, vulnerable to inclement weather and removed from critical social services, the Adams administration has failed in its duties to protect and integrate the newest arrivals to our city.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 11, 2022
Now that the migrants are being treated to swankier surroundings, Awawdeh can’t wait to work with Adams on the problem.
“We applaud the City’s decision to close the Randalls Island encampment and relocate existing and future asylum seekers to a new location better suited to ensuring they have ready access to mass transit and the supportive services they need to more fully integrate into New York City life,” he said following The Watson news. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Adams administration to create the most welcoming conditions possible for asylum seekers and all new arrivals in a city that has always stood as a beacon of hope for immigrants.”
STATEMENT: We applaud the City’s decision to close the Randalls Island tent encampment and to relocate to Midtown, where asylum seekers can better access transportation and social services, and start their new lives as New Yorkers. @HeyItsMurad
— New York Immigration Coalition (@thenyic) November 11, 2022
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