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Asylum seekers to be housed at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, Gov. Hochul says

Hochul: Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn to house asylum seekers
Hochul: Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn to house asylum seekers 03:06

NEW YORK -- Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced two new steps to address the asylum seeker crisis -- an extra $20 million in aid and approval of a new shelter at Floyd Bennett Field.

You might say the applause from City Hall was deafening. Even though Mayor Eric Adams was nearly 5,700 miles away in Jerusalem, he managed to make it clear he's not happy with his "partner" Hochul.

READ MOREMayor Eric Adams fires back at Gov. Kathy Hochul's asylum seeker crisis criticisms

As for the governor, she seemed relieved to interrupt an intense press conference to read a note from an aide.

"Good news. We are in receipt of the proposed lease for Floyd Bennett Field. This is something we have been asking about, hoping for for many, many, many months," Hochul said.

The governor's relief was palpable. Minutes after she admitted to a call on Sunday night with the White House about Floyd Bennett Field had still not produced an agreement, she got a note saying, voila. She can now lease space for a mega shelter for 2,500 asylum seekers along Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn.

"I'm viewing this as a significant development by the administration in Washington to acknowledge that we need more help here," Hochul said.

READ MOREAs asylum seekers begin to arrive, CBS New York tours Randall's Island shelter

The governor has been under intense pressure to show the courts she is working hard to help New York City deal with the more than 101,000 asylum seekers who have arrived. She said she had found another $20 million for caseworkers to help migrants either file papers to win asylum seeker status or get transportation back to their home countries.

City Hall sources were less than thrilled, pointing out the money would allow the city to do case work for seven months for less than 50% of the asylum seekers currently in the system.

The mayor's spokesperson also repeated Adams' demands that the governor ask the federal government to make an emergency declaration and issue an order blocking localities from issuing their own executive orders banning asylum seekers.

READ MORENew York City considering housing asylum seekers at shuttered federal prison

CBS New York's Marcia Kramer put the that question to the governor.

"The mayor has said repeatedly that he has asked you to do a diversion program of your own where you would bring more people upstate and other places that haven't been very welcoming," Kramer said.

"Scattering people all over the state does not allow us to manage the most important element of diffusing the situation for the long term," Hochul responded.

Creedmoor asylum seekers facility already close to max capacity 02:15

A recent New York Times report said efforts by DocGo, which is contracted by the city, to resettle asylum seekers in Albany were "rocky," claiming migrants were given "the false hope of jobs."

"Usually, there's no more than one other person in their hotel room with them. They get laundry services twice a week. They get three meals a day at a pretty significant rate," said Anthony Capone, CEO of DocGo. "They get case management services on site every day. It's voluntary and if anyone wants to leave they're welcome to and we'll support them."

READ MORE"It is not going to happen": Idea to house asylum seekers at Nassau Coliseum shot down by County Executive Bruce Blakeman

The mayor issued a statement thanking the governor for getting approval for Floyd Bennett Field, but he couldn't resist a dig, saying, "I'm looking forward to more of this kind of partnership with our friends in Albany as we manage this ongoing crisis."

"Moving forward, though, we do need continued help. From the federal government, we need a decompression strategy. We need the resources like Floyd Bennett Field, but also the resources to open sites like that," said Dr. Ted Long, senior vice president of NYC Health + Hospitals.

Exclusive photos show the demand for cots inside tents set up for asylum seekers at the parking lot of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens.

The city says one week after the doors opened, 800 of the facility's nearly 1,000 beds are already taken.

The Legal Aid Society said it hopes the governor's actions on Monday show she is finally "galvanizing the full weight and authority of the state" to deal with the asylum seeker crisis.

Legal Aid has a court date on Wednesday with the city and state over the right to shelter. 

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