An attempt by New York City Mayor Eric Adams to relocate dozens of illegal immigrants to a tent shelter was met with anger as they scoffed at the idea.
Video footage taken at the site of the tent city at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn purportedly showed migrants exiting a bus and then immediately boarding another that would return them to the shelters they came from. Evidently, the more plush surroundings at temporary shelters like the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan were more to their liking as many were heard complaining about the relocation effort funded by New York taxpayers.
With more than 60,000 migrants currently being housed in hundreds of emergency shelters across New York, those bused into the remote site which includes the national park were not having any part of the mayor’s attempt to take the pressure off the city’s strained resources. Many reportedly complained about the inconvenience of sheltering at the field when they had jobs and schools for their children miles away.
“We were shocked when they turned around and left — shocked,” the bus driver told the New York Post. “Only a few people stayed. We didn’t see that coming.”
State Assemblywoman Jaime Williams (D-Brooklyn) was on hand as the migrants arrived, documenting the scene and sharing her surprise as they came off one bus only to board another,
“When I asked him why did they leave immediately like that, he said the people, they were scared,” she said of one migrant she spoke with.
“They weren’t sure what they were doing here. They don’t want to be here, and they asked to leave, she added, according to the New York Post. “They said, ‘It’s so isolated, how could I possibly get back and forth to work?’ or, ‘Getting my children to school from here would be insane.’ So they all asked to leave.”
“It’s a disaster waiting to happen,” Williams added.
“It’s one of the coldest days so far. There’s going to be a frost tonight,” she said. “It’s not the ideal location for anyone to live. There’s no supermarket. There’s no infrastructure.”
One father who was on the bus told the New York Post that they were in the dark about where they were being taken.
“We weren’t told where we were going,” the angry man said. “I work in The Bronx. My kids go to school in The Bronx. For us to live out here is ridiculous.
“We’re going back,” he declared.
“We didn’t know we were coming here. They just said they were taking us to a shelter,” griped another father who said she had been staying at the Roosevelt Hotel.
“I cannot stay here,” he added. “This is crazy.”
A second busload arrived later and opted to remain at the site, according to the Post which noted that a spokesperson from Mayor Adams’ office confirmed some of the first busload of migrants had rejected the relocation effort.
“As we have said time and time again, more than 139,500 asylum seekers have moved through our intake system since the spring of 2022, all of whom have been offered vital services,” said the spokesman in a statement.
“But with more than 65,600 migrants still currently in our care, and thousands more continuing to arrive every week, we have used every possible corner of New York City and are quite simply out of good options to shelter migrants,” he added.