New York City residents are protesting migrant encampments in their city, including specific concerns about crime and unregistered vehicles. The growing concern came just weeks after New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) said that the current crisis “will destroy” his city.
In particular, residents of Staten Island have protested two migrant shelters which they describe as having a number of illegal vehicles. These vehicles have been involved in a number of accidents, with local press quoting one resident as calling it “like the Wild West.”
“The situation has escalated here,” the resident said. “Migrants are barbecuing in the woods next to our playgrounds and the biggest thing now is these vehicles.”
“Get them out!”
Residents in Staten Island, New York continue to protest against migrants being sent to their borough. pic.twitter.com/8gnqTJtdD9
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) September 15, 2023
Near the shelter are a number of vehicles with no plates. The surrounding area is littered with garbage.
Currently, the city is paying $5.36 million for the shelter contract on Staten Island. While the current contract is expiring at the end of the month, New York may extend it until 2026. The existing Staten Island shelters can fit 600 people.
Since last year, the area around the shelter has seen its population increase by almost 20%.
New York has been at the center of much of the debate over the flow of migrants into the country since President Joe Biden took office in 2021. The city has received more than 100,000 migrants since last year and officials have stated that it is near capacity.
Much of the migrant wave has occurred since Biden announced the end of the Title 42 asylum policy earlier this year, which was put in place by former President Donald Trump
Staten Island has been at the center of much of the debate regarding migrants. The island is the only borough of the city that consistently votes for Republican candidates.
There have been a number of protests on Staten Island regarding the city’s policy, including one in which former Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa was arrested
The current situation has also reawakened calls for the island, which is geographically closer to New Jersey than other parts of New York City, to secede into its own municipality. The issue had not been a significant part of city discourse for about three decades.
New York has attempted to handle the current migrant situation by also funneling migrants to other locations across the state, despite being a self-declared sanctuary city.