Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

NYC to House Migrants in Old Jailhouse Near Central Park

Published: May 29, 2023
Asylum seekers board a bus en route to a shelter at Port Authority Bus Terminal on May 18, 2023, in New York City. (Image: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Under the stress of hundreds of migrants arriving in New York City every day, authorities are scrambling to find accommodations for all of them and have decided to repurpose Manhattan’s old Lincoln Correctional Facility to temporarily house adult migrants.

The facility was shuttered in 2019 by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo following a decline in the state’s prison population and is now being used to address the “humanitarian crisis.” 

A City Hall rep told the NY Post, “We’re grateful to the state for providing this site and partnering with the city to open this space as a temporary site for asylum seekers as New York City continues to face this humanitarian crisis,” adding that, “We’ve had over 70,000 asylum seekers come through the city’s intake centers since last spring. And yet hundreds of asylum seekers continue to arrive in New York City every day.”

The City rep said that additional financial and operational support is required to adequately meet the demand for services. 

Reportedly, there are no longer any jail cells at the 10,000-square-foot facility which at one time served as a minimum-security state prison. Over the years it has been used by the Young Women’s Hebrew Association, and even housed U.S. troops during WWII. 

It’s located on West 110th Street on the northern end of Central Park and has been vacant since September 2019. It was decided to use the facility to house migrants after space at the Roosevelt Hotel and other sites became overrun. 

New York’s mayor, Eric Adams, says the migrant crisis will cost city coffers more than $4.3 billion by next spring. 


Council members beg for help

On May 24, NYC council members made the trek to Albany seeking help dealing with the migrants being bussed to the city from the country’s southern border. 

At a press conference on May 24, Councilwoman Nantasha Williams said “The purpose of our visit was really to start to build out a statewide coalition. We know that the city has been bearing the brunt of this crisis. We are at capacity and we need help.”

According to the NY Post, at least 40,000 migrants are currently depending on the City for housing and their basic needs.

Included in the entourage to the State’s capital was Williams, Shaun Abreu, Eric Dinowitz, Althea Stevens and Erik Bottcher where they presented a long list of requests.

Top of the list was more state funding and more affordable housing. 

At the press conference Abrieu said, “This is really also an opportunity for the city and the state to really work hand in hand in speaking in one voice to the federal government,” that he wants to provide more support and loosen work rules to allow asylum seekers to gain employment. 


No end in sight

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently said that he has no plans to stop bussing illegal migrants north to Democratic cities, despite the cities insisting that they do not have the resources to manage the influx.

The latest city to begin receiving migrants is Denver, Colorado.

“Texas’ overwhelmed and overrun border communities should not have to shoulder the flood of illegal immigration due to President Biden’s reckless open border policies, like his mass catch and release without court dates or any way to track them,” he wrote in a press release on the matter. 

“Until the President and his Administration step up and fulfill their constitutional duty to secure the border, the State of Texas will continue busing migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities like Denver to provide much-needed relief to our small border towns,” he added. 

Earlier in May, in a letter to 49 other state governors, Abbott called on the governors to “band together” in opposition to Biden’s border policies.

“In the federal government’s absence, we, as Governors, must band together to combat President Biden’s ongoing border crisis and ensure the safety and security that all Americans deserve,” he wrote. 

He blasted Biden’s decision to end Title 42, which allowed authorities to expel illegal migrants on the basis of keeping communicable diseases out of the country. 

“With the end of Title 42 expulsions, President Biden’s own administration estimates that at least 150,000 migrants are waiting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and enter our country illegally,” he wrote, adding that, “The flood of illegal border activity invited by the Biden Administration flows directly across the southern border into Texas communities, but this crisis does not stop in our state. Emboldened Mexican drug cartels and other transnational criminal enterprises profit off this chaos, smuggling people and dangerous drugs like fentanyl into communities nationwide.”

He says that Texas has spent more than $4.5 billion on essential border security operations since 2021 and that the Texas Legislature is considering earmarking an additional $4.6 billion to address the crisis over the next two years. 

“President Biden unleashed a nationwide crisis and subsequently denied the federal government’s responsibility to address it,” Abbot claims.