NYC migrant crisis: Hundreds continue protest against Staten Island shelter

Protests continued Tuesday night on Staten Island, where hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets with megaphones, signs and American flags.

"I realize it’s a sanctuary city, but there has to be a limit to our compassion," said protester, Michele Rubin. "We don’t have the infrastructure, we are not vetting anybody, we don’t know if anybody has a criminal background or what they did in their country of origin."

The borough has been at the center of New York City's migrant crisis since the end of last month, when the Adams administration started to house asylum-seekers at St. John Villa Academy.

"They should be separated from the community until they are properly vetted, and when they are properly vetted, then they can be welcomed," another neighbor, Christine Martin, added.

The former Catholic school has been transformed into a 300-bed makeshift shelter, and is now the site of rallies often led by the borough’s Republican elected officials.

A Staten Island judge initially ruled the city couldn’t use St. John Villa Academy as a shelter, but the city appealed and had the ruling overturned.

Republican lawmakers have since filed a lawsuit to have the shelter shut down.


NYC migrant crisis: Protests turn violent outside Gracie Mansion; 5 arrested

Demonstrators clashed with counter-protesters on the corner of E. 86th Street and East End Ave., where the situation escalated into physical violence, resulting in five arrests.

New York has been dealing with an influx of asylum seekers since last spring. Over 107,000 migrants have arrived in the city since the crisis begin.

Fifty-nine thousand asylum seekers are currently under the city’s care across 200 emergency shelters.

City Hall said less than 2% of those 59,000 asylum seekers are being housed on Staten Island.

Mayor Eric Adams has clashed with Gov. Kathy Hochul over the issue, denouncing her stance the city should limit its movement of migrants to other parts of the state.

However, they’re aligned when it comes to pleading the federal government for more resources, including emergency funding and expedited work permits.

City Hall released a statement, reading, "New Yorkers are tired of bearing the brunt from this national crisis, and we empathize with their concerns. The sites we are now finding are the only options left. This situation demands a broader state and national solution."

The Department of Homeland Security identified 11 federal sites in New York that can be used to house migrants.

Federal officials also sent letters to Adams and Hochul highlighting operational and structural failures in the city’s handling of migrants and citing ways to make improvements.