Furious protesters gathered outside a former Catholic school in Staten Island to express their fury at its use as a makeshift shelter for migrants.
Hundreds of people took to the streets outside St. John Villa Academy in New York on Tuesday to condemn the city’s handling of the massive influx of 107,000 asylum seekers pouring into the Big Apple since last year .
A 300-bed site has been set up on the old campus, leading some locals to worry about the safety of students at another school that backs onto the new migrant center.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has also turned to historic landmarks, including the Roosevelt and Redbury hotels in Manhattan, as he calls for help in the face of overwhelming numbers of people.
Adams’ mayoral rival Curtis Sliwa, who has campaigned tirelessly on the migrant issue of late, pledged on Tuesday to close nearby Verrazano and Goethels bridges to create travel chaos in a sign of protest against the situation.
The academy, which was closed in 2018, has become the epicenter of Staten Islanders anger over the current crisis. Tuesday’s demonstration was the latest in a series of demonstrations in the borough which also saw more than 1,000 people demonstrate outside the school last week.
Furious protesters have taken to the streets of Staten Island to demonstrate against the influx of migrants into New York, targeting a historic Catholic school used as a safe haven.
Hundreds of residents gathered outside St. Johns Villa Academy to protest the use of the closed school as a migrant shelter
Residents are furious with the city’s handling of the migrant crisis, which is costing authorities millions every day as buses continue to arrive from the southern border.
St. Johns Villa Academy, founded in 1922, was closed in 2018 due to low enrollment and increased expenses. Its use as a migrant shelter has now sparked fury and has become the epicenter of protests in Staten Island over the city’s handling of the crisis.
The overwhelming number of refugees settling in New York comes as the US-Mexico border continues to set records for crossings. As the numbers continue to rise, several southern states, including Texas, have taken to busing migrants north to send a statement about the porous border.
That issue plagued Adams’ tenure, leading him to declare a state of emergency last fall, calling the situation a “humanitarian crisis.”
The mayor, under fire, pleaded for federal aid and littered the Big Apple with short-term housing. But his efforts were not appreciated on Staten Island, as protesters at the event displayed signs criticizing his actions – with one reading: “Mayor Adams is a jerk.”
“I realize this is a sanctuary city, but there must be a limit to our compassion,” protester Michele Rubin told Fox5.
Adams’ rival in the 2021 mayoral election, Curtis Sliwa, was also present at the protest, where he sent the crowd into a frenzy over the growing crisis by pledging to close the Verrazano and Goethels bridges to create chaos on this issue.
The plan would have seen him closing the bridges with sixteen-wheeler trucks, but Sliwa declined to elaborate on the operation when pressed by DailyMail.com.
Sliwa was arrested last week during another migrant protest, and his persistent attacks on Adams’ handling of the crisis led the mayor to call him a “buffoon”.
Curtis Sliwa sent the crowd into a frenzy Tuesday night as the migrant crisis continues to plague New Yorkers.
The mood at migrant protests in the Big Apple has soured as the relentless influx continues, with one protester on Tuesday calling it a “losing battle”.
The closed campus of St. Johns Villa Academy has hosted several protests in recent weeks against the influx.
New York Mayor Eric Adams (pictured September 1, 2023) has been plagued by the migrant crisis throughout his tenure and has called it a ‘humanitarian crisis’.
A woman at the protest said the appearance of the shelter made her worry about her niece, who is a student at St. Joseph Hill Academy, another Catholic school whose campus borders the new migrant shelter. .
“We try to do what’s best for our children (but) it’s like fighting a losing battle,” said Florence P., 68, at the New York Post.
She added that the city should not necessarily be opposed to welcoming migrants, but believes that they should all be checked and vaccinated beforehand.
“We don’t know what their origin is,” she said. “Until we find out and get them checked out, they are welcome.” In the meantime, they are not welcome.
“All these people are jumping the line,” added another protester, David Rem, 59.
Counter-protesters were also present at the protest, holding up signs hailing migrants and calling those who confronted the issue “racists”.
The soured mood at migrant protests in the Big Apple has been evident for months, escalating last week when a violent clash erupted outside Adams’ Gracie Mansion.
In a statement to FOX5 in response to Tuesday’s protest, the mayor’s office said, “New Yorkers are tired of bearing the brunt of this national crisis, and we understand their concerns.
“We have opened more than emergency sites, including 15 large-scale humanitarian aid centres, and are constantly on the lookout for new places to provide the more than 60,000 asylum seekers in our care and the thousands of people arriving each week for the shelter they ask for.
“But let’s be clear: the sites we are currently finding are the only options left. This situation requires a broader state and national solution.
A large sign has been erected outside campus condemning its new role as a haven for migrants
Tensions in the Big Apple have reached fever pitch, last week a migrant protest turned violent as people on both sides of the aisle clashed.
Counter-protesters were also present at the event, holding signs welcoming refugees to the city.
New York authorities have been grappling for more than a year with the flood of refugees, who arrive almost daily, although Adams said there will soon be no more room.
He warned the situation could soon reach a boiling point, with locals growing increasingly frustrated, saying it could end up costing $12 billion over the next three years.
While the number of illegal border crossings has been a growing problem for years, the influx intensified when Title 42, a pandemic border policy that gave officials more detention powers, ended in may.
The number of illegal border crossings was over 10,000 a day when the policy ended.
A large number of refugees have left Venezuela amid the country’s current economic difficulties, with more than seven million people leaving the country of 29 million in February, reports The New York Times.
While the vast majority of the seven million people opted for neighboring countries, many fled to the United States. From 2015 to 2018, only around 100 Venezuelans were arrested at the border each year.
From October 2021 to August 2022, that number was 150,000.