Residents of Staten Island in New York City are protesting a proposal to house migrants at a former school site. The lawsuit also coincided with a large protest against a plan to place migrants at a former military facility.
The plan would about 300 migrants into a former Catholic school and would include outdoor showers operating from always-running generators.
Several Republican city officials filed a lawsuit calling for a temporary restraining order for the planned shelter at the former St. John Villa Academy site. Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella (R) said that the litigants “don’t want to see this building, a migrant shelter, in the middle” of their “beautiful neighborhood.”
Fossella is also joined by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) among other state and city officials.
One of the plaintiffs stated that the generators would be set up next door to his house. The showers are part of a $20 million no-bid contract awarded by the city to a Florida company.
The lawsuit asked who would “want to live in a home with dozens of outdoor showers run by noisy generators directly abutting the home.”
The debate over the proposed migrant site has already seen several court challenges. A Staten Island court put a temporary halt on the project but was then overruled by a higher court decision.
Local officials are also calling for a curfew at the former school facility. According to the officials, the hope would be to have an 11 p.m. curfew for the migrants daily. Currently, no such provision exists. Other shelters run by the city have a standing 11 p.m. curfew.
The fight over the former Catholic school is not the only one facing Staten Island. The city is seeking to house migrants at the former Fort Wadsworth site. The proposal to bring migrants to the former 226-acre facility provoked a significant public protest, including more than 1,000 city residents.
Hundreds of pissed off New Yorkers take to the streets of Staten Island to protest Eric Adams plan to house migrants at Saint John's Villa. pic.twitter.com/jRBzlVyGw7
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) August 26, 2023
Staten Island and the other four boroughs of New York City have faced a significant flow of migrants since last year. City officials estimate the number of migrants arriving since then at about 100,000. Almost 60,000 of the number are being cared for by the city government.