Asylum seekers in New York City earn as much as $3,000 a month working without work permits while living for free at the Roosevelt Hotel, where they receive free food, bedding and even cleaning services.
The historic Manhattan Tower, dubbed “the new Ellis Island” by one city official, has become the registration point for migrants arriving in the city by bus after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. Many of them have been sent north by Republican governors fed up with what they say are Democrats’ open-gun policies.
The hotel is one of several in Manhattan designated to house migrant families with children who started attending downtown schools this fall. The city currently pays about $385 per night per migrant family in need of housing and food. According to Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, asylum seekers cost the city about $10 million every day.
DailyMail.com spoke to asylum seekers outside the Roosevelt on Friday, just hours after several buses arrived, and found that many of the migrants living at the shelter have been working illegally as delivery drivers and using dozens of unlicensed scooters that have become a common sight . outside the iconic location.
A 24-year-old Venezuelan man, who identified himself only as Jhon, said he and other men living at the shelter earn as much as $1,500 every two weeks delivering food and other items — even though they don’t have a working driver. licenses.
A 24-year-old Venezuelan man, who identified himself only as Jhon, said he and other men living at the shelter make as much as $1,500 every two weeks delivering food.
The migrants living in the shelter have been working illegally as delivery people and using dozens of unmarked scooters, which have become a common sight outside the iconic location
While many delivery apps like Uber Eats require drivers to present a permit before they can pick up deliveries, the men outside the hotel told DailyMail.com they have ways around this, including by using apps designed for bike deliveries.
Asylum seekers cannot work while they wait for the government to consider their claim, which city officials have cited as a factor in the crisis, because migrants are allowed to be here legally but not to make a living.
On Wednesday, however, the Biden administration granted temporary protected status to the nearly half a million Venezuelans awaiting asylum in the US. They are now allowed to work in the field, as Mayor Eric Adams requested.
But many of the Venezuelans outside the shelter had not even heard that they could now apply for work permits under TPS, and the migrants at the Roosevelt have already spent months in the city. During that time, they came up with ways to make money – and since their living expenses are covered by the city, they can keep all their income.
In addition, the reception center houses many families who are not Venezuelan and are still not entitled to a work permit because they wait months and sometimes years for their asylum appointment.
The men told DailyMail.com that when they are caught by police driving illegally, their scooters are confiscated but they are not arrested.
Melvin Pinto, 30, says the men get the money for the scooters by finding work at places like Home Depot and going from house to house offering handyman jobs. Others sell empanadas or umbrellas on the street.
When asked why they decided to come to New York City, Pinto said it was because of the support the city offers migrants.
“Honestly, it’s because of the support they give us…we don’t have any family here,” Pinto said. “We don’t lie about the need for asylum, we run from all the craziness in Venezuela, and it’s not just hunger, it’s armed groups and corrupt police… if there’s no way (at home), we just leave.”
Melvin Pinto, 30, said the men get the money for the scooters by finding work at places like Home Depot and going from house to house offering handyman jobs
A scooter with what appears to be a foreign license plate is seen outside the Roosevelt Hotel shelter
DailyMail.com spoke to asylum seekers outside the Roosevelt on Friday, just hours after several buses arrived
Another young Venezuelan said he had first tried to migrate to other South American countries but preferred the US.
“I left Venezuela in 2018, I was previously in Ecuador and Colombia, but it is much better here,” the unnamed young man told DailyMail.com. “You feel safer and like there is a future.”
The young man told DailyMail.com that he traveled to New York on a bus paid for by the city government of Denver, Colorado – one of the cities where Texas Governor Greg Abbott has transported migrants in an attempt to expose liberal hypocrisy among the to bring attention.
Like most of the men living at the shelter, Pinto’s son attends a nearby school on Third Avenue.
“He was accepted and it’s all been normal at this school, but I had to move him from the previous school because he had a problem with other kids bullying him because he was from the previous school,” Pinto said.
When asked about the conditions in the shelter, he added: ‘They are good… we can’t complain… there is a bathroom in every room… we get food, towels, they even clean the room clean when you call.’
Many of the migrants said they chose NYC because of the city’s right to shelter, which Adams is now trying to abolish.
Senior Adams administration official Anne Williams-Isom, the deputy mayor for Health and Human Services, told WNYC last night, “We’ll be back in court next week to really say, ‘I don’t think the right to shelter as it was originally written must be applied to this humanitarian crisis in its current form.’
The city first tried to change the law in May and is engaged in court-ordered negotiations with NY State and the Legal Aid Society, which represents homeless people.
You also often see migrants being cut outside the hotel
The Roosevelt Hotel (pictured), the Paul Hotel and the Paramount Hotel are among the places designated for migrant housing in Manhattan
New York City’s migrant crisis is expected to cost the city $4.7 billion this year. Above is a list of some of the landmarks that have been converted into emergency shelters as officials struggle to house nearly 60,000 migrants in the city’s care
Progressive Democrats and homeless advocates have fiercely opposed the rollback of the right to shelter, which has been credited with reducing homelessness in the city.
Adams is facing an angry backlash after more than 110,000 migrants have poured into the city since spring 2022.
The Big Apple has taken in more than double the number of migrants than the next most popular cities. Adams has called for state and federal help as the migrant crisis will cost the city an estimated $12 billion over the next three years.
Houston was listed as the destination for 15,416 people, while 15,329 people documented heading to Los Angeles County and 11,081 to Miami-Dade County since May.
Despite Mayor Adams’ cries for help from the state and federal governments, the city has not received any assistance to cover the additional costs, so the $4.7 billion would come from the city’s budget. That amount is equal to the budgets for municipal sanitary facilities, fire brigade and parks combined.
Adams has warned that the city’s services will be affected by the incredible extra spending in the budget. He has previously stated that the city plans to cut services such as library hours, meals for seniors and free day care for three-year-olds.
The situation has already led to several demonstrations by angry New Yorkers.
Earlier this week, chaos erupted outside a migrant shelter on Staten Island as protesters tried to stop asylum seekers.
About 10 protesters were arrested Tuesday outside a former Island Shores Assisted Living Facility in Midland Beach, where a crowd met with migrants with chants of, “Take them back, take them back.”
Footage from the scene showed protesters banging on bus windows as they tried to prevent the migrants from getting off and entering the shelter.