Mayor Eric Adams is striking a deal with Norwegian Cruise Line to accommodate migrants on one of its giant cruise ships and dock it at its homeport of Staten Island, The Post has learned.
Adams plans to lease the luxury liner for at least six months and use it to house and process migrants before they enter the city’s shelter system, a source familiar with the matter said.
The migrants are allowed to come and go while remaining on the ship, the source said.
Preliminary estimates show the plan will be “cheaper” than building another tent city similar to the one the Bronx city plans to open in the Orchard Beach parking lot, the source said.
The tent city, currently under construction, is expected to cost $15 million a month to operate, The Post exclusively reported last week.
In addition to the deal with Norwegian Cruise Line, the city hall was negotiating the possible use of another ship, owned by the Estonian company Tallink and leased by the Estonian government, to accommodate Ukrainian refugees who fled their country after the Russian invasion, according to the source.
About 15,500 migrants have poured into the Big Apple since May, according to City Hall’s latest estimate, amid a surge related to President Biden’s southern border crisis.
Adams – who said the influx is taking the protection system close to its “breaking limit” – predicted last week that the number could soon rise to 75,000.
Meanwhile, the mayor has asked the White House for at least $500 million in emergency funding to fund migrant services for just a year.
It’s unclear if Adams has already struck a deal to use the Homeport, a former naval station in the Northeast Staten Island shoreline between the St. George Ferry Terminal and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, but City Hall has discussed Hizzoner’s plan with Staten Island officials, the source said.
A spokesman for Staten Island County President Vito Fossella did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-SI) endorsed the idea as the best of a bad situation created by the federal government, in a remark to The Post on Friday.
“I knew this was a possibility, but until Biden closes the border, I’m not sure how we can continue to accommodate these people without taking over every inch of parkland with tent cities,” he said of the president criticizing for it became a de facto open border policy.
“This could arguably be a more sensible way to deal with the crisis than people might think.”
But US Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn) fumed: “This is a ridiculous idea that can only come from an incompetent government.”
“Both Biden and Adams refuse to address the root of the problem and instead continue to incentivize illegal immigration,” she said.
“Secure our borders, reintroduce ‘Stay in Mexico’ and add judges to quickly hear legitimate asylum cases. The Democrats have shied away from their responsibilities, but when the Republicans take over the House, we will put an end to this nonsense.”
https://nypost.com/2022/09/30/adams-close-to-deal-for-norwegian-cruise-ship-full-of-migrants-in-nyc/ Adams is about to make a deal for a Norwegian cruise ship full of migrants in NYC waters