BY: Liliana Rocio, Senior Editor for World Liberty TV , Tuesday January 31st 2023
Earlier this month the city said it would turn the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal into a temporary shelter for 1,000 single men, and on Sunday officials began relocating migrants from midtown’s Watson Hotel to the cruise terminal.
But according to local activists aiding the migrants, some of the first men transported saw the conditions at the terminal and immediately turned around and came back, demanding to be let back into the Watson.
“Very basic beds, head to foot, no space in between them, there’s four bathrooms in the entire facility for a thousand beds,” Jose R” told reporters outside the hotel Sunday night. “They’ve described that there’s only food during limited hours and that sometimes the water runs out – and importantly, also, it’s cold in there.”
“More than 42,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City since last spring and we continue to surpass our moral obligations as we provide asylum seekers with shelter, food, health care, education, and a host of other services.
Some of the migrants say they’d rather be on the sidewalk, in the cold, than a shelter in Brooklyn. A handful of men are still camped out in front of the hotel.
The Immigrant Affairs commissioner, Manuel Castro, boarded a bus at the Watson Hotel Tuesday with a small group of men and went to the Brooklyn shelter together, but that didn’t change the migrants’ minds.
Some of the migrants and activists say the conditions are uninhabitable at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. They say that it’s cold and there aren’t enough bathrooms, that it’s isolated, and that they don’t like the congregate setting. The city has refuted those claims, saying there is free transportation, plenty of bathrooms and it’s not cold.
The facilities at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal will provide the same services as every other humanitarian relief center in the city, and the scheduled relocations to Brooklyn Cruise Terminal this weekend took place as planned. We remain in serious need of support from both our state and federal governments,” City Hall said in a statement. The city wants to use the Watson Hotel for family housing as they move single men elsewhere.
The migrants who’ve already moved to the 1,000-bed facility in Brooklyn. They’re comfortable, happy and thankful for a place to sleep. Castro says the stay at the Watson hotel was meant to be temporary and that they’re trying to make room at the hotel for migrant families.
Last summer Texas officials began bussing asylum-seeking border crossers almost daily from local facilities to New York City, whose right-to-shelter laws mean the city has to house all of the migrants.
The influx has stretched the city’s infrastructure to the breaking point, leading Mayor Eric Adams to recently suggest it was close to not being able to accommodate any more people. As of last Thursday, according to the city Department of Homeless Services, nearly 70,000 people were in city-backed shelters, including more than 16,000 single adult men.