The Manhattan Correctional Center, the jail shuttered following the death of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, could be used to house illegal migrants in New York City.
A proposal mentioned earlier this month to Gov. Kathy Hochul aims to combat the impact of some 100,000 migrants who arrived in the city after crossing the southern US border.
Officials are obligated by law to obtain shelter for anyone needing it, according to NYC rules.
While homeless shelters are over capacity, NYC Mayor Eric Adams has resorted to renting hotels and using recreational centers and school gyms to house illegal migrants.
Now the jail which housed Epstein could be uses to house migrants in New York City.
A senior counsel for the city’s law department identified several other sites to house migrants, including the now-defunct Metropolitan Correctional Center, which closed in 2021 after Epstein’s death.
The detention center’s shutdown came under new scrutiny due to security lapses exposed following Epstein’s death.
The Associated Press reported that lawyers described the jail as ‘filthy,’ infested with bugs and rodents, and also plagued with sewage leaks which caused structural issues.
But pro-immigrant groups have denounced the plan.
“Mayor Adams likes to say that all options are on the table when it comes to housing asylum seekers, but certain places should most definitely be off the table,” said Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.
“The Metropolitan Correctional Center was a notoriously decrepit jail and is not a suitable place to support people trying to build a new life in a new country.”
NY residents have expressed anger over the proposal to turn a former assisted living facility on Staten Island into a migrant shelter.
But a Hochul attorney rejected allegations that the state failed to deal with the migrant influx properly.
“The City has not made timely requests for regulatory changes, has not always promptly shared necessary information with the State, has not implemented programs in a timely manner, and has not consulted the State before taking certain actions,” reads the letter.