Shelters in New York City are at capacity as new migrants continue to arrive in the city, prompting Mayor Eric Adams (D) to consider alternative options. One such idea, according to The New York Times, would be to shelter migrants and the homeless on cruise ships — a move that advocacy groups have called inhumane.
The suggestion comes during an unprecedented surge of approximately 11,000 migrants to New York. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot (R) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) have been sending migrants to multiple cities across the U.S., including New York, sparking a nationwide debate. Many of the asylum seekers come from Venezuela, where approximately 7 million people have been forced to flee due to economic and political turmoil, reports The Washington Post. The wave of migrants has already resulted in the opening of 23 new emergency shelters in the city.
Adams has been in contact with the chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line, Frank Del Rio, about the possibility of using one of their ships for asylum seekers. The mayor appeared on CNN's State of the Union to discuss the matter, stating, "We're going to follow the law and as well as our moral obligation and responsibilities."
But "cruise ships are not designed to provide shelter and services to homeless people, especially those with disabilities," the Legal Aid Society and Coalition for the Homeless, an advocacy group, said in a statement. "They also raise potential public health issues with respect to coronavirus transmission."