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Mayor Adams says New York City could use cruise ships to house influx of migrants

Mayor Adams: Cruise ships could possibly help with influx of migrants
Mayor Adams: Cruise ships could possibly help with influx of migrants 03:25

NEW YORK -- Another convoy of buses filled with asylum seekers arrived Friday at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and, in an exclusive interview, Mayor Eric Adams said cruise ships could be a potential solution to the housing crisis. 

Adams revealed the plan during an interview on CBS2's new political talk show "The Point with Marcia Kramer."

The ships wouldn't be called the "Love Boat" or "Good Ship Lollypop," but the mayor said the city intends to honor its commitment to provide shelter to all who need it and that a boat just might fit the bill. 

"We're examining everything, from the legality of using any type of cruise ship for temporary housing. We're looking at everything to see how do we deal with this," said Adams. 

"I want to pursue this thing about the cruise ships," replied Kramer. "Is that really a possibility that you might be able to do that?"

"We're looking at that. That was something that the previous administrations, the Bloomberg administration, my understanding is they looked at that during the surge and so we're looking at that as a temporary measure, not as a permanent measure. A permanent measure is get people into housing," said Adams. 

The mayor spoke as another convoy of buses filled with asylum seekers arrived from Texas. Four buses had arrived by mid-afternoon Friday. As many as three more were expected by the end of the day. 

With 11,600 migrants sent to the city in the past few months, the mayor disclosed that he can't open the shelters and hotels fast enough. 

"We have opened 23 emergency shelters. We are predicting with the influx of opening probably 38 additional emergency shelters. So we have to find temporary measures to address this issue," said Adams. 

The mayor also said he's working the Biden administration to speed up the process of getting work permits for the asylum seekers so they can start supporting themselves. 

Watch Dick Brennan's report

Mayor Adams floats idea of using cruise ships to house migrants 02:44

CBS2's Dick Brennan was there as two buses arrived from El Paso, Texas, on Friday evening with some 100 adults and children. Many of the migrants looked relieved and exhausted.

They arrived with the clothes on their backs, perhaps a bag of belongings and children in tow. For these migrants, the hunt for the American dream goes through the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

One man who came from Venezuela with his wife and family said in Spanish that his trip was difficult, but added, "Thank God I'm here."

A man who identified himself as Solano wanted the world to know, "I'm very grateful. I'm here with my son. Greetings and blessings to everyone."

This isn't just happening in New York City. Forty-eight migrants who landed on Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday voluntarily left the island by ferry Friday.

Twenty-eight-year-old Elieser Perche came from Venezuela with his parents. He says he's hoping to find some work and a better life for his family.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has also said that thousands of jobs are available all over the state. 

"That is unbelievable when you think about the insanity of this whole concept of telling people you're not allowed to work now. We have a shortage in restaurant employees. Some of the people coming have experience in that. We may have medical professionals. We have a shortage of nurses," said Adams. "We need to look and see where we are facing shortages. How do we go about allowing people to take care of themselves? Not we the government must take care of them. That just makes no sense." 

"So how do you fast track the work permits?" asked Kramer. 

"It's a combination of the Department of Homeland Security and the Congress. It's a combination of both coming together to make that determination," said Adams. 

The mayor said there's also the possibility of migrants filling job openings upstate, which would also ease the city's housing crunch.

"The Point with Marcia Kramer" airs every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. after "Face the Nation" on CBS2 and streams on CBS News New York.

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