Wednesday 20 September 2023

Staten Island protesters block bus of migrants headed to former senior living home, leading to 10 arrests

 Late Tuesday evening, a large group of protesters in the New York City borough of Staten Island blocked a bus carrying migrants headed to a former senior living facility. The residents' demonstration ultimately led to an altercation with local law enforcement, and 10 protesters were taken into custody.

According to WCBS-TV, the protesters blocked traffic at Father Capodanno Boulevard and Midland Avenue in Midland Beach. Several police units responded to the scene. 

Residents voiced their frustrations with the worsening migrant crisis and protested the city's plan to move them into the former Island Shores Beach building, which was once a senior living facility with 288 beds.

Video taken of the protesters captured frustrated Staten Island residents shouting, "You're not welcome" and "You are illegal!" the New York Post reported.

Residents have been protesting near the building for weeks after rumors circulated that it would be turned into a shelter for migrants arriving in New York City. 

Local law enforcement reported that 10 protesters were arrested for disorderly conduct, including a 48-year-old man who was charged with allegedly assaulting an officer. Residents insisted that officers were aggressive and suppressing their right to protest, WABC reported.

Police stated that no altercations involving migrants or bus personnel were reported. 

Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, told the outlet, "As I told them, they don't have enough handcuffs, they don't have enough cops, they don't have enough cars. We're going to be out here 24/7, 365, and the illegals are not going to want to come here. They should stay in Manhattan."

On Wednesday morning, Democratic Mayor Eric Adams called the protest an "ugly display."

"We have 8.3 million New Yorkers and we cannot allow the numerical minority that shows an ugly display of how we deal with crisis be used as an example of what New Yorkers are doing. Of course, New Yorkers are frustrated, New Yorkers are really concerned," Adams stated.

"And even the migrants are really concerned," he continued. "We are both stating that this crisis should be dealt with in a manner where the national government carries out the role that it is supposed to. It should not be left on the backs of New York City residents."

Two municipal government sources told the New York Daily News Tuesday that the city is planning to limit shelter stays. Currently, single adult migrants are allowed to reside in city-operated shelters for 60 consecutive days. After that period, migrants who cannot find "alternative housing" must reapply for a new city shelter bed to restart the 60-day time limit. Sources claimed that New York City plans to limit stays to 30 days for single adult migrants. There is currently no shelter stay limit on families with children; however, the city is reportedly considering placing a time restriction in the near future.

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