(NewsNation) — Sanctuary cities across the country are scrambling to find space to house an influx of asylum-seekers.
In New York City, the situation has grown dire after taking in more than 60,000 migrants in the last year alone. Nearly 50% of the city’s contracted hotel rooms are occupied by asylum-seekers amid the surging influx, Mayor Eric Adams said recently.
And now there are talks of “possibly” opening housing facilities on Rikers Island, which houses the city’s largest jail, although the mayor’s office said it is looking at more than 400 locations.
A former hotel, a one-stop-shop with food, shelter, and medical and legal services, will be the first official arrival center for the asylum-seekers, and all new asylum-seekers coming to New York will be routed here.
Chicago and Denver are facing similar issues. The sanctuary cities all have policies that welcome migrants and asylum-seekers with open arms — but those policies weren’t designed to receive thousands in a short period of time.
Denver has launched a dashboard to keep a tally of migrant arrivals; on Thursday they reached just over 10,000 since December.
“Denver cannot continue to financially shoulder the burden of this humanitarian crisis alone,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement. “Our residents shouldn’t lose the services and resources they depend on and pay for with their tax dollars because Congress and the federal government are failing to do their job.”
A recent report showed that migrant arrival could end up costing Denver tens of millions of dollars.
Chicago — much like New York — is proposing plans to use schools as temporary shelters for migrants, including the city’s South Shore High School, which could serve up to 500 arrivals. Yet the plan includes Chicago police working security, and has been temporarily blocked by an emergency restraining order.
“We were forced to do this, we had to do this,” said Natasha Dunn, one of the residents who is suing. “This is not about the migrants. This is about the entire city of Chicago ignoring our community because this school belongs to us.”
Meanwhile, city leaders have been called out for allowing hundreds of migrants to sleep on floors in police precinct stations.
“It is clear that police stations and respite centers is not the goal,” Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said, just days into his new job. “The soul of Chicago tells us that we will never close our doors to those who come here in search of a better life.”