Eric Adams considers housing migrants in closed prison

Partial view of the Villahermosa prison in Cali, Colombia, on June 23, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. - According to data released by the Personeria de Cali, 658 positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected at the prison -583 in prisoners and 75 in INPEC workers and auxiliaries. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP) (Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Roy Francis
1:40 AM – Saturday, May 13, 2023

New York City Eric Adams discussed housing migrants in a closed down Hudson Valley prison while on a call with county officials on Thursday.


On the call, which was obtained by POLITICO, Adams said that the city of New York is in desperate need of support from surrounding counties as the number of migrants arriving in the city continues to rise. In the past year, the city of New York has housed over 65,000 asylum-seekers.

“Nothing is off the table. If anyone has alternative locations, we’re open to listening. We’re not taking anything off the table at all. We’re going to look at both of those locations you mentioned,” the Mayor said when the suggestion of housing migrants in a prison was brought up on the call.

At a later press briefing, the Mayor reiterated that “everything is on the table.”

“Everything is on the table,” Adams said. “When you get 4,200 people in one week I mean — that is an oh-shucks-moment. And I’m only saying shucks because I’m being televised.”

An Adams spokesperson defended the position of the Mayor and said that the city has run out of housing space and is looking at any solution that would help. Other locations the Mayor’s office is looking into is a former military airfield, a psychiatric center, and various warehouses.

“We’re at the point now where frankly we need help,” Adams told city officials on the call. “And this is a national issue, and I’ve called out the White House. It’s a congressional issue for not having real immigration reform. All those things are important, but right now I’m dealing with a crisis that is going to cripple the economic engine of the state — it’s going to impact your municipalities as well as New York City.”

The comments made by Adams have been met with criticism from fellow city Democrats. New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, a Democrat, said that the prison should not be an option.

 “Some things should be off the table,” he said in a statement to POLITICO.

The city administration had started moving migrants out of the city and into surrounding communities. On Thursday, a bus full of migrants, from New York City, arrived at an Orange County hotel despite objections of local community leaders.

The move was met with heavy criticism, with Republicans from surrounding counties saying that there was no communication and no plan in place for when the migrants arrived.

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said that he was led to believe that the bussing of migrants into Orange County was halted, and that he would no longer cooperate.

“Zero cooperation. I’m sorry, Mr. Mayor,” Neuhaus, a Republican, said.

Meanwhile, Governor Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), said that she has been working on finding facilities across the state to be able to house and help asylum-seekers get jobs.

“We’ve been working so hard with the mayor’s office, trying to find sites that are closer to where people are arriving and where there are services,” Hochul said. “That’s what we’ve continued to do, look at state properties. I’ve talked with the federal government about federal properties, and trying to stand up more sites.”

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