How Roosevelt Hotel Became a Refuge for NYC Migrants Amid Crisis

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New York City’s iconic Roosevelt Hotel, which was built in the 1920s and named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, has a long history of hosting celebrities, politicians and dignitaries. But in May 2023, the hotel reopened its doors to a slightly different clientele: asylum seekers.

The hotel’s arrival center is the first of its kind in New York City. It provides migrants with access to a range of legal, medical and reconnection services, as well as placement in a shelter or humanitarian relief center, according to Mayor Eric Adams[^1^][4].

The hotel also opened up 175 rooms for children and families until it is scaled to approximately 850 rooms. An additional 100 to 150 rooms are reserved for asylum seekers in transition to other locations[^1^][4].

Why are asylum seekers coming to New York City?

New York City has seen an influx of more than 65,000 asylum seekers since last year, a number that is expected to rapidly accelerate now that so-called Title 42 restrictions have lifted[^1^][4].

Title 42 was a pandemic-related immigration policy that allowed the United States to swiftly turn back migrants at its border with Mexico for the last three years in the name of protecting public health[^1^][4].

Many of the migrants arriving in New York City are from Central America, Haiti and other countries where they faced violence, persecution and poverty. They are seeking safety and opportunity in the United States.

Last year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott began busing migrants north to urban centers, including New York City, Chicago and Washington DC. Tens of thousands of migrants have descended on Texas border cities, such as El Paso, which declared a state of emergency in December[^2^][2].

What challenges do asylum seekers face in New York City?

Asylum seekers face many challenges in New York City, such as finding affordable housing, accessing health care, enrolling in schools, learning English and finding jobs.

The city has reached its capacity and called for additional support from the state and federal governments as it grapples with the crisis[^1^][4].

The city has also faced backlash from some residents who protested against housing migrants in public school gymnasiums and other locations[^3^][5].

Some migrants have been relocated to other counties or states where they may have relatives or sponsors. Others have been bused to hotels such as the Roosevelt Hotel where they can receive temporary shelter and assistance.

What is the future of the Roosevelt Hotel and asylum seekers?

The Roosevelt Hotel is not the only hotel that has been converted into a shelter for asylum seekers. The city has opened 150 emergency sites and is reportedly looking at around 500 additional sites[^3^][5].

The city hopes that by providing asylum seekers with a centralized intake center and a range of services at the Roosevelt Hotel, it can help them transition to more permanent solutions.

The hotel also hopes to preserve its historic legacy and reputation as a welcoming place for all people. The hotel’s website states: “The Roosevelt Hotel has always been a place where people from all walks of life can come together and celebrate their differences. We are proud to continue this tradition by hosting New York City’s first asylum-seeker arrival center.”[^1^][4]

The hotel’s slogan is “The Grand Dame of Madison Avenue.” Perhaps it can also be called “The Grand Dame of Compassion.”

What do you think?

Written by John Wich

John Wich is a skilled news writer dedicated to delivering informative and captivating stories to readers. With a passion for uncovering the truth, John's writing reflects his commitment to accuracy and engaging storytelling. His expertise in journalism ensures that he provides valuable insights on a wide range of topics.

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