By Elijah Westbrook
NEW YORK (WCBS) — A controversial emergency response center for migrants is relocating after facing safety concerns from some Bronx residents.
Mayor Eric Adams says the facility will be moved from Orchard Beach to Randall’s Island. In a statement overnight, he said the new location has better access to public transportation and is less prone to flooding.
As CBS2’s Elijah Westbrook reported, photos from 2018 show the Orchard Beach parking lot completely flooded over.
That’s why nearby residents raised concerns. They also brought up conducting criminal background checks on the migrants.
“These people that are being sent here, they’re not all criminals. But in any group this size, there’s going to be a criminal element,” Bronx County Conservative Party Chairman Patrick McManus told CBS2.
The city heard their voices and decided to take action.
“We don’t do any screening other than finding out the needs of people and make sure that we properly give them the resources they need. And we’re going to provide the public safety, that’s my responsibility,” Adams said.
Tuesday morning, crews could be seen in the beginning phases of deconstructing what was built at Orchard Beach, as the materials will soon move more than eight miles southwest to Randall’s Island.
In a statement, the mayor said Emergency Management determined, “relocating the Orchard Beach humanitarian relief center to Randall’s Island is the most efficient and effective path forward, and work is underway to make this move.”
In the days ahead, residents who live near the beach will start seeing the structures in the parking lot get torn down.
Adams said he expects the temporary shelter on Randall’s Island to be built during the same timeline as what was initially going to take place at Orchard Beach, looking at least one to two weeks.
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