NYC migrant crisis: Arrivals begin at shuttered Harlem jail

A former jail in Harlem is now some to some of New York City's swelling population of migrants and asylum seekers. 

The city has concerted the former Lincoln Correction Facility on West 110th Street into a dorm that can house as many as 500 people. 

Migrants will be sharing rooms inside the facility, which will reportedly be for men only, not families or children.

Governor Kathy Hochul gave permission for the facility to be used to house migrants after it was closed in 2019.


NYC migrant crisis: One migrant's treacherous journey revealed

FOX 5 New York spoke with one migrant couple to hear how they risked their lives to reach New York City in search of safety and opportunities.

This isn't the first time the building has been used when the city needed to house people. The Young Women's Hebrew Association stayed there, as well as troops during World War II. 

FOX 5 New York spoke to one of the migrants currently housed at the facility, who said that most of the men inside come from Colombia and Venezuela. He added that while they need clothes, they really want to work. 

However, getting migrants settled is proving to be tough, not only for them but for the city as well. By law, asylum seekers are required to wait at least half a year after filing an asylum petition before being able to obtain authorization to work. But very few have even begun the process of seeing asylum.  

"It's a fairly complex legal form with some very serious consequences if you fill it out wrong," said Molly Wasow Park, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services. "So I think there is a lot of anxiety."

The city has been pushing to get the process sped up for migrants to get working papers.

So far, 70,000 migrants have arrived in New York City, with more arriving every day.