At Tuesday’s hearing, city officials detailed the challenge in providing services, such as housing, legal help and even medical assistance.
“As the buses arrive, people arrive hungry, thirsty and often sick,” Castro said. “And those are the immediate needs. Asylum seekers have many particular needs.”
New York City Commissioner of the Department of Social Services Gary Jenkins told the hearing on “Long-standing NYC Shelter Intake Issues and the Recent Increase in Asylum Seekers” that the migrants have been placed in 11 emergency sites — four in Manhattan, three in Queens, two in Brooklyn and two in the Bronx, he said.
The city is expected to open one specialized service center within the next two weeks, said New York City Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. That center will primarily provide legal services and enrollment in public schools for children who have arrived, among others. They then plan to refer people to community-based organizations as a way to matriculate migrants into different communities, Iscol said.
Adams, for his part, said he is asking for more state and federal help and expects to speak with the Biden administration before the end of the week. He also highlighted the conditions most of the migrants from Texas had to endure, with a 45-hour bus ride and limited stops, even though, he says, some wanted to go to a different state.
“There is nothing successful about treating people with this lack of dignity,” the mayor said.