FDNY shuts down St. John Villa migrant shelter amid safety concerns

The FDNY was on hand at the St John Villa Academy on Monday, shutting down the Staten Island migrant shelter site over the lack of a working sprinkler system and fire alarms. 

Hundreds packed up their belongings and lined up to get onto vans and buses.

One of the migrants leaving, a 30-year-old migrant from Nicaragua who arrived in New York three weeks ago, told us he’s afraid because he doesn’t know where he’ll be going as the weather gets colder. 

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Counter-demonstrators near a rally protesting the opening of a temporary shelter for asylum seekers in the Staten Island borough of New York, US, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023. New York City recently opened a temporary shelter to house 300 migrants at St. John Villa Academy, a former Catholic School, drawing opposition from some Staten Island residents and anti-immigration activists. Photographer: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The shelter opened in August to ugly protests from local residents - sometimes ending up with arrests. It was to house 300 but took in 170, officials here say they’re being sent back to the Roosevelt Hotel - but believe it’s the safest solution for everyone.


NYC migrant crisis: Hochul backs suspension of 'right to shelter'

NYC officials have been trying to roll back the city's "right to shelter" rule following the arrival of over 120,000 migrants since last year.

"And what happened today is that the people of this community got what they deserved," Fosella said.

A spokesperson for the city says it continues to struggle to do the best it can for migrants who continue to arrive at the pace of 10k a month. But has been sending a message to Washington for a federal policy to stem the flow.