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New York City mayor close to deal on cruise ship to house migrants

The plan is estimated to be cheaper than building another tent city.

September 30, 2022 2:29pm

Updated: September 30, 2022 5:19pm

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is finalizing a deal to house migrants on a luxury cruise ship docked at Staten Island’s Homeport, reports the New York Post.

The mayor’s office is negotiating with the Norwegian Cruise Line to lease a luxury cruise liner for at least six months, which it will use to house and process migrants before they enter the city’s shelter system, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The source added that the migrants would be allowed to come and go while staying on the ship.

According to estimates by the city, the cruise ship plan will be “cheaper” than constructing another tent city. The first emergency tent center is being erected at Orchard Beach in the Bronx is expected to cost $15 million a month to operate, according to The Post. It will have enough beds to house up to 1,000 adults.

Adams suggested the idea last week, just hours before a record number of nine buses arrived in the city on Sept. 18 – each carrying between 40 and 50 migrants. Additionally, six other buses arrived from El Paso the day before.

The large influx of migrants is overwhelming the city’s shelter system, with full-time facilities being overcrowded. In response, the city has opened 23 emergency shelters, but they still do not have enough beds for those in need.

The source said the Adams administration had discussed the plan with officials in Staten Island, where the ship will likely be docked.

“I knew this was a possibility but until [President] Biden shuts off the border, I am not sure how we can continue to accommodate these people without taking over every inch of parkland with tent cities. This arguably may be a more reasonable way to cope with the crisis than people might think,” said Republican Councilman Joe Borelli, who represents Staten Island.