(NewsNation) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams first floated the idea of bringing in a cruise ship to help house migrants arriving in the city a few weeks ago. Now, it appears the city has moved a step closer to making that happen.
The mayor has been reluctant to reveal any details about a possible deal the city is making to charter a cruise ship to help handle the influx of migrants coming into the city, though.
“When we get an announcement of any type of deal, we will make it public with a level of transparency. And so any premature announcement of a deal that was reached, they know more than I do,” Adams said.
The New York Post reported the ship would dock at a port in Staten Island for six months.
Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed that it is in talks with the city, saying in a statement to NewsNation:
“The chartering of cruise ships to companies, government entities and other organizations for various uses is a standard business practice across our industry. While we can confirm that New York City has approached us about a potential charter of a cruise vessel, no agreement has been reached and we cannot speculate about the outcome of any ongoing business discussions.”
It would be the second multi-million dollar, taxpayer-funded plan the city will use to provide migrants sanctuary in the city.
Adams has said he plans to erect hangar-size tents as temporary shelters to house the influx of migrants arriving from the southern border.
Construction started last week for the first tent that was proposed for a remote corner of the Bronx, a parking lot at a popular city beach on Long Island Sound where public transportation is limited.
The first tent site has 1,000 beds where migrants can stay for up to four days and receive food, healthcare and legal aid. The site will reportedly cost $15 million per month to operate.
“No other municipality is doing what New York City is doing as well as shelter, education, as well as healthcare,” Adams said.
In the last six months, city officials say 15,000 migrants have come to New York seeking asylum, many of them arriving on buses sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott from the southern border.
Adams said Abbott’s decision to send busloads of migrants to the city for months now since May has created a humanitarian crisis in New York City. Plus, Abbott said he would not stop sending migrants to the city until President Joe Biden secures the southern border.
Abbott addressed the issue in a gubernatorial debate with Democrat Beto O’Rourke, explaining why he hasn’t sent migrants to so-called sanctuary cities in Republican-led states. Destinations like New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., he said, are “so large and have the infrastructure that’s available” to help aid with the record-number of migrant encounters at the Southwest border.
“They (border cities) were overrun with the number of migrants,” Abbott said. “They needed relief and busing was one of the ways of providing them relief.”
O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, Texas, fired back and criticized Abbott for “treating humans as political pawns.”
“Under the Biden administration, we had more people coming across the border than ever in the history of our country. Texas has responded by making sure we have the National Guard, DPS [Department of Public Safety] deployed. They’re making arrests and turning back illegal immigrants,” Abbott said.
While New York City has received the most migrants so far, Chicago and Washington, D.C., have also received migrants bused from Texas in recent months.
New York City’s mayor has asked Biden for $500 million in emergency funding but is still waiting for a response.