Not lovin it: NYC Mayor Eric Adams says he NEEDS support from Biden as Times Square vendors slam decision to open migrant shelter at empty site of popular 24-hour McDonald’s
Posted For: Layla Godey
By SOPHIE MANN
Mayor Eric Adams will open another two emergency migrant shelters in New York City – one in what was formerly a 24-hour McDonald’s – as illegal immigrants continue to stream into New York.
The mayor has openly expressed his frustration at the lack of meaningful assistance provided by the Biden administration to help curb the issue that has burdened the city’s resources and residents for months.
Now, two more migrant shelters are set to pop up in a busy part of town. The vacant Candler Tower office building in Times Square that was once home to a 24-hour McDonald’s will now house hundreds if not thousands of the city’s illegal migrant population.
The fast-food joint, once billed as one of the busiest and most profitable models of McDonald’s, shut down during the June 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns. And the building’s owner, UK-based investment company EPIC, signed over the deed last March to avoid foreclosure, according to a report from the New York Post.
The other shelter will be located in a six-story commercial building in Brooklyn.
Most of the other 103 emergency shelters being used to house migrants across the city are located in hotels.
One Indian immigrant who works at a newsstand on 42nd Street near the defunct McDonald’s said that the migrants may be a boon for his business, but could also potentially boost crime in the tourist-heavy area.
‘If there are protests or crime, people visiting from other countries won’t keep coming back to New York,’ Hossain, 49 said, according to the Post.
‘If the immigrants behave and are nice it will not be a problem…If they are given jobs it will not be a problem. When they’re given everything and have nothing to do, that’s when you get problems.’
City Councilman Robert Holden of Queens, a Democrat, offered up his frustration with the mayor’s move to house even more migrants – stretching even further the city’s already drained resources.
‘We’re now going to house them in retail spaces, commercial spaces. Where does it end and when does the taxpayer get a break here?’ he asked.
‘This is a problem that the Biden administration created and the government should foot the bill and have a plan to feed and house them,’ he added.
The city has estimated it will spend approximately $4.2billion on the migrant crisis by the middle of the year.
More than 50,000 migrants have arrived since last spring and more than 30,000 of that number are being cared for by the city.
The mayor recently said: ‘We continue to do more than any other city in the nation, but as the number of asylum seekers continues to grow, we are in serious need of support from both our state and federal governments.’
Details of the new shelter plans were shared by City Hall with members of the City Council on Monday afternoon.
‘Please be advised that the City is planning to open two congregate Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center (HERRC) sites at the end of March 2023 to early April 2023,’ read the message.
It was also recently revealed that the city’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement office is ‘fully booked through October 2032’ to process migrants seeking asylum in the US.
The near decade-long backlog means that some migrants without valid asylum claims may select New York City in an effort to avoid facing an immigration judge, possibly forever.
The twin opening of the new shelters comes with the announcement that the city will shutter a 1,000-bed HERRC at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. Migrants were informed of the shelter’s closing on Monday.
The new sites are designed to accommodate as many as 1,200 single men in ‘congregate’ settings.
n January, Adams placed increased pressure on the Biden administration to help him address the ongoing migrant crisis.
‘There’s no more room,’ he said during an interview for POLITICO’s The Fifty: America’s Mayors.
‘The White House must ensure the immediate needs, that cities that are impacted receive the support they deserve,’ he said. He has campaigned for additional funding from Washington to help plug the $2billion hole in the city’s budget for migrants housing and other services.
Despite a relatively good relationship between Adams and Biden, Biden has mostly, and increasingly, ignored Adams’ pleas for help on this issue.