New York City’s migrant shelter on Randall’s Island closes down; asylum seekers will move to hotel

New York City will close down the Randall’s Island tent shelter for migrant asylum seekers, Mayor Eric Adams said on Thursday.

City officials are in the process of “demobilizing” the shelter due a decrease in migrant arrivals in recent weeks. The single adult male migrants will be moved to Midtown Manhattan, where 600 rooms will be available at the Watson Hotel.

“This Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center will provide asylum seekers with a place to stay, access support, and get to their final destination,” Adams said in a statement.

“We will continue to pivot and shift as necessary to deal with this humanitarian crisis, but it’s clear that we still need financial assistance from our state and federal partners,” the statement added.

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General view of the soccer fields on Randall’s Island in New York City, October 11, 2022.
(Rob O’Neil for Fox News Digital)

According to Adams, the estimated number of asylum seekers in New York City is over 23,800. City officials are caring for at least 17,500 migrants.

The Randall’s Island shelter opened in October after the original Orchard Beach shelter in the Bronx flooded. The facility, which was intended to house up to 500 single adult men, featured laundry facilities, a cafeteria and entertainment centers that included Xbox systems.

Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa criticized the decision to board migrants on Randall’s Island – which also houses Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center, a maximum-security facility for mentally unstable and often violent patients.

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Beds are seen in the dormitory during a tour of the Randall’s Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on October 18, 2022, in New York City.
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

“That is sort of like mixing ammonia and bleach. You are asking for a problem,” Sliwa told Fox News Digital. “There’s going to be a riot on the island.”

Adams’ press release also subtly criticized Governor Greg Abbott of Texas for bussing migrants to the Big Apple. Abbott has maintained that the effort was intended to bring awareness to the severity of the migrant crisis at the Southern Border.

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks at the National Press Club during a press conference on gun violence and other issues on September 13, 2022.
(Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“The city has — largely on its own — taken fast and urgent action, managing the arrival of a rapidly increasing number of buses across New York City with virtually no coordination from states sending them,” Adams’ statement said.

Fox News’ Julia Musto and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.