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Migrant relief center relocating to Randall's Island after concerns from Orchard Beach residents

Mayor Adams defends decision to move temporary housing for migrants
Mayor Adams defends decision to move temporary housing for migrants 02:19

NEW YORK -- Migrants bused from Southern states to the city will soon be headed to Randall's Island.

On Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams defended his decision to change course, after first proposing to house asylum seekers at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done to convert the empty parking lot into relief centers. The most activity seen was some surveying work done earlier Tuesday.

The relief centers built at Orchard Beach are being torn down as quickly as they went up.

"We pivot and shift. Listen, we're not afraid to pivot and shift," Adams said.

Late Monday night, the mayor announced the change of plans. He says migrants will now be given temporary shelter on Randall's Island, a change many had been demanding.

"We didn't think it was ideal because it's in the middle of a flooding zone. It's prone to flooding when there is inclement weather. It's hurricane season. It's a transit desert. There's nothing around the parking lot," Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson said.

Gibson said work is underway to find other places in the Bronx to help provide relief.

"If we criticize, offer solutions. We don't like one site, find another," Gibson said.

"This is a crisis situation and it's about to get harder with more and more people coming in," Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.

Williams said the federal government needs to do more, like providing funding to help cover the costs associated with the influx of migrants. It's estimated more than 15,000 have already arrived here from the Southern border.

"Everyone should be on all hands on deck, everyone. Not sitting back and throwing rocks. A rock is not a plan," Adams said.

Meanwhile, the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless said in a joint statement the city needs to find other solutions "instead of tent cities, where our clients will be isolated, vulnerable to extreme weather, and far from public transportation and other critical services."

As the city works to find other locations for the migrants, CBS2 learned Tuesday afternoon that some help is on the way. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced 100 National Guard service members will be arriving at Randall's Island to help with logistics and operations assistance.

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