Mayor Adams, on the coldest night of the year, warmed up with hundreds of asylum seekers in an unannounced visit to their temporary home inside the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
A video captured the mayor playing a World Cup soccer video with one of the men as others cheered during his overnight show of support for the recently relocated migrants, with Adams noting 44,000 asylum seekers had moved through the city’s intake system in the last 10 months.
“We’re going to stay the night with our brothers and just let them know we’re all in this together,” said Adams in a video clip posted Saturday on social media after city temperatures dipped to a low of 4 degrees. “This is how you get through things.”
Adams was joined by state Assembly member Eddie Gibbs and homeless advocate Shams DaBaron at the facility just two weeks after the mayor announced its opening to handle the continuing influx of asylum seekers.
“I would never ask anyone to do something I would’t do myself,” the mayor said in a statement. “I wanted to show the asylum seekers staying at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal the warmth of New York City … and experience what they all are experiencing.”
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The former cop wore an NYPD baseball cap and a black sweatshirt with the letters “GSD” — his acronym for “Get stuff done.” A photo showed Adams sleeping on a cot.
The men were relocated to the Brooklyn waterfront from the Watson Hotel on W. 57th St. in Manhattan to make room for newly-arrived families with children. Last month, the mayor estimated the projected cost of the city’s effort ran to about $2 billion and said the city was nearing its breaking point in taking in new migrants.
He praised the men for moving to make room for the family members while adding his decision to spend a night at the facility was meant to hear directly from the migrants about the ongoing situation and get a sense of their experiences.
“What we saw is what we have seen since the beginning of this crisis, individuals who are grateful to the greatest city in the world for providing them the opportunity to work toward the American dream,” said Adams, adding the city workers at the waterfront operation were “giving new meaning to the words ‘love thy neighbor.’”
Spent the coldest night of the year at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal with “Homeless Hero” and advocate Shams DaBaron & @AMEddieGibbs.
Our brothers are being kept warm and the team working here is giving new meaning to the words “love thy neighbor.” pic.twitter.com/62o0wE7W2r
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) February 4, 2023
Adams has maintained the long-term answer still relied on Congressional action to create a more comprehensive program. He has also called for a national czar to help with the crisis as busloads of asylum seekers continue to arrive in the city.
Adams said he found common ground with the men during their night together, recalling the days of his youth when the mayor was sometimes unsure of knowing where he would find a bed.
“I empathize uniquely with these asylum seekers and will not only work every day to provide them with these resources, but will always do so with care and compassion,” he said.
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