Mayor Adams says he’d be ‘extremely pleased’ if ‘no one uses’ Randalls Island migrant tent that cost NYC $650K to build

Mayor Adams acknowledged on Friday that his government had taken in far fewer migrants than expected at its controversial tent camp on Randalls Island – but claimed it was actually a sign of success.

The facility, which cost city taxpayers at least $650,000 to build, has taken in fewer than a dozen migrants since it opened Wednesday. The Daily News spotted a total of just five migrants being taken into the tent on Wednesday and Thursday.

In a series of radio appearances Friday morning, Adams claimed the Randalls’ slow pace showed his response to the migrant crisis is on track.

“If it turns out that nobody is using this tent, the HERRC on Randalls Island, I’ll be delighted because that shows that the second phase of our plan has been successful,” he said on 1010WINS, using an acronym for “Humanitarian Emergency Response.” “. and Relief Center,” his preferred title for the Randalls location, which has room for 1,000 people and is intended to house only single adult males.

A migrant, far left, arrives at the Randalls Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on Thursday, October 20, 2022 in New York City.

A migrant, far left, arrives at the Randalls Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on Thursday, October 20, 2022 in New York City.

A migrant, far left, arrives at the Randalls Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on Thursday, October 20, 2022 in New York City. (Barry Williams/)

The “second phase” mentioned by Adams was his administration’s pressure on the federal government to enact a “decompression strategy” at the southern border, which tens of thousands of Latino migrants have crossed since this spring in hopes of seeking asylum in the United States

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Last week, acting on Adam’s request, President Biden implemented a new policy that allows the Feds to expel Venezuelan migrants, who make up a large portion of the new arrivals, to Mexico unless they have a “sponsor” in the US , who can do this financially for you while you go through the asylum procedure.

After months of seeing more than 10 busloads of asylum seekers entering New York every day, only a few buses per day have arrived this week, according to Adams, given the new Biden policy.

During an appearance on Fox 5 on Friday morning, asked if there was a need to set up the costly tent on Randalls Island as the migrant wave slowed, Adams likened the situation to buying insurance.

“It’s like, ‘Why do you have car insurance?’ They’re not hoping for an accident, but they better be prepared for one and I salute this government and the team for realizing we had an unforeseen situation that could have left us 100,000 people dead.” he said.

An empty soccer field is pictured Thursday, October 20 at the Randalls Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center.

An empty soccer field is pictured Thursday, October 20 at the Randalls Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center.

An empty soccer field is pictured Thursday, October 20 at the Randalls Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center. (Barry Williams/)

If the Randalls tent remains empty, Adams said his administration will “eventually take it down.” Its spokesman, Fabien Levy, said the city was also considering a transformation of the facility to focus on helping migrants with casework.

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Brooklyn City Councilman Justin Brannan, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said the lower-than-expected flow into the Randalls facility underscores the need for the federal government to compensate the city so it doesn’t have to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars unnecessarily.

“We need better communication from DC so we don’t get mixed up for no reason, and we need the federal government to get involved and provide resources and support,” Brannan said.

More than 16,000 migrants remain in city shelters or other forms of housing run by the Adams administration. They were sent by officials in southern border states who say they have no resources to house them, including Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has declined to coordinate the transportation with the Adams administration.

In another sign that the city’s migrant wave may be slowing down, Adams said on 1010WINS he was notified by Democratic officials in El Paso that they will no longer be sending migrant buses to New York. About half of the migrants who arrived in New York this year were from El Paso, according to the city.

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