migrant crisis

Central Park among NYC areas considered to house migrants: ‘Everything is on the table'

The intake process to find migrants a shelter should take an average of 24 to 48 hours. However, in some cases, migrants have been sleeping on sidewalks, waiting for five to six days

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What to Know

  • A large number of asylum-seekers have been outside of the city’s arrival intake center sleeping on the sidewalk as they wait to get assigned to a shelter for a bed to sleep in -- if there is one available
  • With an average of 300 to 500 people arriving by day, the city is taking new drastic steps, like giving unaccompanied migrants already under the city’s care a 60-day notice to find another roof over their heads
  • "As of July 30, we have 107,900 people in our care, including 56,600 asylum seekers. Over 95,600 people have come through our system since last spring," NYC Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom says

Hundreds of asylum seekers remain in place outside of the city's arrival intake center, where many have waited for days in wait of a place to sleep -- if there is one available.

Many of the migrants sleeping on the streets of midtown in front of the Roosevelt Hotel on East 45th Street and Madison Avenue, most of whom are single men, say their spot in line has not moved forward as New York City officials look at every possible option to house the new arrivals.

Time has stood still for men like Jose Gregorio, who was waiting in the same spot on Wednesday where News 4 found him two days earlier.

"I was here almost 24 hours ago, and the line hasn't grown up. It's the same amount of people for the past 24 hours, so it seems like they're keeping these people for whatever reason," he said.

Officials at City Hall confirmed migrants could soon be living up in other iconic areas of the city, including places like Central Park.

"Everything is on the table," NYC Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom said Wednesday. "As of July 30, we have 107,900 people in our care, including 56,600 asylum seekers. Over 95,600 people have come through our system since last spring."

According to the city's tracking, more than 2,300 migrants entered its system in just one week between July 24 and July 30.

Luis Garcia told News 4 he's happy to have food and water, and that sleeping on the street for two and a half days is not so bad because he's slept on the street ever since he left Venezuela.

Even if some of the newcomers do not mind waiting in the street, the Legal Aid Society says the conditions violate the city's right to shelter. City Hall said the focus should be on the lack of state and government assistance, instead of targeting Mayor Eric Adams.

"His administration has doubled down and tripled down on strategies that aren't working and never worked, but one thing that has changed is the mayor's rhetoric. It is no longer welcoming," Murad Awawdeh of the NY Immigration Coalition said.

City officials denied leaving people on line is a strategy to send a message to the federal government or to migrants at the border that New York is out of space.

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