Randall’s Island Center Receives Hundreds Of Migrants
The tent city set up on Randall’s Island by the Adams Administration officially called a humanitarian emergency response and relief center, recently saw a larger number of migrants occupy its space.
The Randall’s Island center that opened in October was previously occupied by a few people, only to see the arrival of 113 Senegalese migrants. According to the NY Post, the Senegalese migrants arrived on Sunday, October 30th.
Reports show that several of the migrants occupying the space in the tent were encouraged to go there by Imam Omar Niass of the Masjid Ansaru-Deen Islamic house of worship in The Bronx.
“All the men came across the southern border,” he said. “Some of them took the Greyhound bus to New York. The [Roman Catholic] church helps buy a ticket for them. A non-profit organization also buys a lot of bus tickets for the migrants.”
Imam Niass also added that in some instances the men also received tickets to fly to New York. He said that they were working in Brazil when they heard that the borders to America were open. “Any time I ask them, all they are talking about is, ‘Border is open,’ ‘Border is open,’” he said.
The Randall’s Island center has allegedly drawn more migrants because of the resources it provides. The NY Post reported that three meals are provided daily. Laundry services and entertainment facilities such as video games, flat-screen TVs, and couches are provided for the occupants.
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“They are getting food, clothes, medical evaluations, MetroCards and allowed to play pool, Ping-Pong, PlayStation, and Xbox,” a source aware of the situation allegedly said.
“They heard about all the benefits and decided to get on the gravy train.”
“It’s good conditions. We can’t complain,” said Serigne Ndiaye from Senegal.
“My friends heard about the tents from an Imam who has been looking after them. My friend sent me a message and told me to come here.”
The comforts in the Randall’s Island center have been highlighted as an attraction for migrants. The migrants residing in the center include the Senegalese, Colombians, and Venezuelans as well.
The presence of African immigrants in the center is worth noting because LittleAfrica News previously reported on a Resource Fair that was held in September to assist African migrants who needed assistance subsequent to their arrival in New York City.
One of the organizers of the event, Mohamed Mardah, chairman of the African Advisory Council, had complained that African migrants did not receive as warm a welcome in NYC as other people. “Meanwhile, most of our brothers and sisters who had arrived were sleeping in mosques, churches, and with friends.
In one mosque in the Bronx, there were so many that the Imam had to put out tents in the backyard for them to sleep. It was really a sad and unfortunate situation. Therefore, this event is meant to expose the new arrivals to all the various resources available to them, and most of it is free,” Mardah said at the time.