Officials From Staten Island Call on Mayor Adams to Review “Right to Shelter” and Urge POTUS to Secure the Border
On Tuesday, October 4th, elected officials from Staten Island issued a statement in response to New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ consideration of a deal with Norwegian Cruise Lines to house migrants on a docked ship at Staten Island’s Homeport. This statement was released by Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Minority Leader of the NYC Council Joseph Borelli, Councilman David Carr, State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Andrew Lanza, Assemblyman Michael Reilly, and Michael Tannousis.
The tent that was being built in Orchard Beach experienced flooding last weekend due to remnants of Hurricane Ian. Protesters gathered in the parking lot, where the tents were being erected, to criticize the location as well as question its safety in regard to housing migrants. As announced by Mayor Adams, the shelter tents have now been moved to the Icahn Stadium parking lot on Randalls Island. In addition to the tents, Adams hopes to house migrants on a docked cruise line ship in Staten Island.
The cruise liner, according to reports, would be rented for six months to house and process migrants before they enter the city’s shelter system, enabling migrants to come and go while residing on the ship.
The officials stated, “Millions of migrants from more than 60 countries have flocked to our southern border as a result of President Biden’s decision to end barrier construction, reverse “Remain in Mexico,” and withhold resources from our Customs and Border Protection Agents.”
They added, “Every town would become a border town under Biden’s lax immigration policies, as we have long predicted, and that is precisely what is happening in New York City. Instead of supporting our calls for President Biden to fortify our southern border, Mayor Adams is leasing out luxury hotel rooms, impacting tourism, organizing tent encampments in our public areas, impacting the quality of life, and possibly even bringing in a cruise ship to house migrants off our shores at great expense to New Yorkers.”
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The officials placed the Right-to-Shelter law under a microscope saying the law is “intended for American citizens [in New York] who require short-term assistance, not for millions of people from around the world to abuse. The Mayor needs to review this law immediately and make it clear that the city is not required to house citizens from other countries.”
While addressing the current situation, the statement said, “We understand the desire so many have to come to our country in search of the American Dream, there are laws and procedures that must be adhered to in order to safeguard both the safety of the migrants themselves and our national security.”
The officials continued, “New Yorkers are currently struggling to make ends meet due to the high cost of living; they are using their savings to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table. The last thing our constituents need is to be forced to pay for the shelter, and health care of those crossing our open border at an alarming rate, which the Comptroller says may cost our city alone up to $1 billion in the short term.
While acknowledging the cost of housing the migrants, the officials made a point that the money could be used to better the city’s current residents. “The money could be used to reduce classroom sizes, hire more cops, or simply return to the taxpayers struggling to make ends meet during this time of record-high inflation,” they said.
The officials added, “This crisis is being handled in an uncompassionate, unsustainable, and wholly incompetent manner. We urge the Mayor to assist in bringing together stakeholders on both sides of the political spectrum at all levels of government to discuss solutions to this crisis that is placing an excessive burden on our local systems and the residents of our city. We stand united in our strong opposition to any housing deal on or off the shores of Staten Island.”
Adams has cited the migrants in New York as a “humanitarian crisis.” People across the political spectrum have criticized his handling of the over 15,000 migrants that have entered New York from southern border towns.