Sun | Dec 3, 2023

US finalises contract to utilise airfield in NY as shelter for Caribbean asylum seekers

Published:Saturday | September 16, 2023 | 11:00 AM
Many of the asylum seekers going to New York from the southern borders of the United States are nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela and Nicaragua. - CMC photo

NEW YORK, CMC – The Mayor of New York City Eric Adams says the city and the US federal government have finalised an agreement on the use of the Floyd Bennett Airfield in Brooklyn to shelter Caribbean and other asylum seekers.

After months of negotiations, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced last month that the Joe Biden administration had provided New York with a tentative contract that would allow the state to utilise Floyd Bennett Field as a shelter for asylum seekers.

Many of the asylum seekers going to New York from the southern borders of the United States are nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela and Nicaragua. 

“New York City has entered into a lease agreement with the federal government that allows us to use Floyd Bennett field as an emergency site to shelter some of the more than 113,300 asylum seekers who have sought our care since the spring of 2022,” said Adams on Friday.

“But let's be clear: If the federal government were to issue an emergency declaration, additional federal space and funding would become available to better manage this crisis,” he added. 

“This is not an adequate solution or any sort of long-term plan by the federal government to this national problem,” the mayor continued.

Adams said that, for months, he and Hochul have been urging the federal government to allow New York to use Floyd Bennett Field to help house some of the more than 100,000 asylum seekers who have sought care in New York City.

New City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, said he was “glad to see the governor commit this location and funding to provide shelter for the ever-increasing number of new and aspiring New Yorkers arriving in our city."

Follow The Gleaner on X and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.