NEW YORK -- Facing a shelter crisis with thousands of asylum seekers arriving here, the Mayor Eric Adams' administration has issued an emergency solicitation for up to 5,000 beds at commercial hotels and other facilities that can be ready on 24-hour notice.
As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday, the move comes as Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Catholic Charities officials met with migrant families.
Juan Carlos Parrago carried his partially paralyzed 11-year-old daughter, Marielvis, through the jungles of Venezuela in a desperate attempt to come to New York and get her medical treatment.
"Did he come here to try to get her help?" Kramer asked.
"Absolutely, so she could be eligible for an operation," Parrago said through a translator.
Parrago, who took his daughter in his arms to show where she suffers scoliosis and partial paralysis, is just one of the nearly 6,000 migrants who have arrived in New York in the last several weeks seeking help, seeking safety, and seeking a better life. Parrago, a constructor worker in Venezuela, met with Cardinal Dolan and officials from Catholic Charities, just one of several organizations helping New York City deal with the crisis.
"Our perspective is not the political. Our perspective is not how did we get in this mess. Our perspective is simply to help them," Dolan said.
Border officials have sent about 1,300 migrants to Catholic Charities, which gives them food, clothing and legal assistance. New York City provides the shelter.
In fact, CBS2 has learned that with so many needing a roof over their heads, the Adams administration issued the emergency solicitation, seeking bids for up to 5,000 units in commercial hotels and other facilities that have to be able to provide services on 24 hours' notice.
Catholic Charities officials praised the city for its response.
"They've never shirked from their responsibility to provide shelter as a right to those in New York City, even if those only arrived in New York City a few hours ago," Msgr. Kevin Sullivan said.
Kramer asked Dolan if they would also help educate the children arriving here and find places for them in the church's schools.
"We have scholarships available for these kids to go to our Catholic schools," Dolan said.
A spokesman for Mayor Adams said the city is still working on plans for how to educate the children of asylum seekers, but he assured Kramer that all will have a place when classes start next month.
Cardinal Dolan and Msgr. Sullivan also called on the federal government to get involved with better policies and procedures at the border and to provide financial assistance.
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