A chaotic scene was playing out at a Hell’s Kitchen hotel Monday as some asylum seekers who have been living there are refusing to be transferred to Mayor Adams’ new mega migrant shelter in Brooklyn and instead opting to sleep in tents on the hotel’s sidewalk, according to homeless advocates and city officials.
The Adams administration started moving migrants on Saturday from the Watson Hotel on W. 57th St. to its newly-built Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on the Red Hook waterfront.
More than 1,000 male, mostly Latin American migrants have been staying at the Watson for weeks, and the administration initially planned to get them all transferred to the Red Hook facility by Tuesday, said Joshua Goldfein, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Rights Project.
But that timeline now appears to be up in the air as the planned transfers have been met with resistance from the asylum seekers, Goldfein and other advocates who’ve been at the hotel since Sunday told the Daily News.
Some of the first migrants taken to Red Hook were shocked by the conditions at the site and turned back around, said Ariadna Phillips, founder of the South Bronx Mutual Aid advocacy group.
“They said it was freezing inside, that there were no blankets and they fled. The conditions are inhumane and they don’t comply with right-to-shelter,” Phillips said, referring to the local law that requires the city to provide “decent” shelter for anyone who needs it. “They described it as prison conditions, they said it was like the detention camps on the southern border, and they fled back to the hotel.”
A spokesman for Adams disputed Phillips’ account about conditions inside the Red Hook shelter, which has capacity for 1,000 people and is located in one of the warehouses at the cruise ship terminal.
“Of course the building at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is heated,” the spokesman said. “It is a temperature-controlled structure like any other indoor facility.”
Videos posted on social media from inside the Red Hook facility shows hundreds of beds lined up in tight rows, without any privacy partitions.
Phillips said her group has been told by migrants at the site that shower facilities are in a separate building. “So residents have to exit into the cold to shower, return wet in [the] cold to [the] facility,” she said.
The migrants who returned to the Watson after being admitted at the Red Hook site were told they could not get their hotel rooms back, Goldfein said.
That created a tense situation, as those migrants stuck around anyway demanding to get their rooms back, according to advocates. Goldfein and Phillips said they had both spoken to migrants who were shut out of their hotel rooms before being able to retrieve their belongings.
Some of the migrants removed from the hotel proceeded to set up tents on the sidewalk, where they spent the night Sunday, according to advocates. The tents were still there Monday morning, and some migrants were seen sleeping directly on the sidewalk despite the January weather.
Amid the commotion, NYPD officers were called to the hotel late Sunday, an Adams spokesman confirmed.
“The NYPD only responded yesterday after individuals who are not asylum seekers assigned to the Watson Hotel began rushing the hotel and trying to enter spaces that they were not authorized to enter,” the spokesman said.
The NYPD said no arrests were made.
According to Goldfein, hundreds of migrants still resided in hotel rooms at the Watson as of Monday morning, and it was not immediately clear what will happen to them. Advocates were expected to hold a rally outside the hotel on Monday afternoon.
The Adams spokesman accused advocacy groups of instigating the Watson chaos.
“It looks like the disruption outside the Watson Hotel yesterday was organized by local organizations and individuals who have repeatedly sought to stop our efforts to support the 42,000+ asylum seekers here in New York City,” the spokesman said.
Murad Awawdeh, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said the administration should not be surprised it’s facing pushback over the Red Hook site.
“[The site] is in a transit desert, much like the Orchard Beach and Randalls Island locations were, and doesn’t meet the health and safety needs of residents,” Awawdeh said, referencing the administration’s two other mega migrant shelters that have since been shuttered. “Rather than creating more unsuitable, temporary shelters, the city must support residents by moving them into permanent housing, especially those that have been stuck in our shelter system for years.”
The Watson dilemma comes as Adams continues to plead with the federal government for more financial and logistical aid to shelter and provide services for the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in the city since last spring.
Most of the migrants are fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries and ended up in New York after crossing the U.S. southern border in hopes of obtaining asylum.
Prior to this weekend’s Watson incident, Adams has touted the fact that his administration has sheltered all migrants in New York despite what he views as a lack of assistance from the federal and state governments.
“Keep in mind, everyone that has arrived here received the same level of fairness and treatment. We don’t have people sleeping on the streets,” Adams said in an appearance on NY1 Friday. “We have addressed the needs of everyone that came here … We’re doing our share. It’s time for the national government to step up.”
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Turn off the water and electricity. Stop the food deliveries, and if that doesn’t work, set the building on fire. They will move. Then deport every one of them.
Tell the entitlement asylum seekers that the City is rewarding them with cruise ship accommodations, free food , medicine and gambling. Average size Cruise ships hold about 3000 customers. Once on board, lock them all in their cabins and ship them back to where they came from, or maybe places like Haitii or Venezuela where they can productively bite the heads off of chickens instead of putting the bite on WE THE PEOPLE taxpayers. Pay a little now in travel expenses, save a ton later in costs of social benefits and social services. About 12 ships could rid the city of the 40,000 current Biden imports, and maybe THE PEOPLE can be the ones who get sanctuary from Democrat driven dystopia, where sane warning Aldous Huxleys get replaced by consusing insane warring Adulterous Biden Huxters..
I’ve long said, DEPORT THE LOT.. AND that’s now days, INCLUDING every damn one of those “immigrant right activists”..
“Rather than creating more unsuitable, temporary shelters, the city must support residents (illegal immigrants) by moving them into permanent housing, especially those that have been stuck in our shelter system for years.”
The Watson dilemma comes as Adams continues to plead with the federal government for more financial and logistical aid to shelter and provide services (total support) for the more than 42,000 illegal migrants who have arrived in the city since last spring.
This is socialism, the government totally supporting illegal, immigrants and other minorities with taxpayers money. This only works until the government runs out of other people’s money and there are more people being supported by the socialist government than there are taxpayers.
Like Venezuela, a poor third world country, that use to be a wealthy democracy until their government became socialist dictators.
Make no mistake this U.S. Treasonous Democrat Party is trying to steer the U.S. into a socialist country. 🙁 🙁 🙁
HOWS ABOUT SUPPORT TAX Paying US citizens first..
They know what cards to play, Mayor Adams.
Yes they do know what cards to play. They have been coached before they arrive at our border. The password is ASYLUM! Deport everyone and all. Sick of this mess and the POTUS does nothing but send more money to corrupt Ukraine!
Just more Democrat planned and contrived Helter Skelter fall out shelters, where the truely needy fall through the cracks, while the democrat illegal entered crackheads crack their entilement whips for another American fall. Most sane aliens would prefer a room in a Charles Manson mansion than a bunk with the debunked social solution these chuckleheadded Democrats devise.
Hey Joe, transport these illegal immigrants to the Ukraine where they can fight against Russia and there will be many jobs to rebuilt the country of Ukraine. It will make Mayor Adams happy.
EVERY “Asylum lawyer, activist and such”, that has been COACHING THESE invaders, needs to get Permanently stripped of THEIR US Citizenship, then kicked the hell out of the nation.. I am also tempted, to add in THEIR ENTIRE family too…
Here is a great idea; send them back to where they came from and lock the door behind them.
The so-called “migrants” (actually invaders) are more willing to stand up for themselves than the people whose money is being stolen to support them!!!
AND Note, all these ‘activists’, keep flooding INTO the city from somewhere.
WHO THE HELL IS PAYING THEM!
“some people have been here for years”. Why aren’t these people finding jobs and supporting themselves? We were told that that was the ultimate goal. Instead, they won’t take care of what is given to them, and cry about what is not. GET A JOB!
Yup. invade our country illegally and then make demands on our country to take care of your every desire! Ya, sure no problem. Please hold your breath till we can make that happen.
It just kills me that the weak minded reporters keep calling these illegal aliens invaders migrants, they are not migrants! Migrants come to America legally by fallowing the laws! Period.
You would think these “migrants” would be grateful to have a roof over their head and free meals after their journey through the desert. Obviously they’ve been coached to demand 5 star accommodations.
They’ve seen how americans feel entitled, so think THEY ALSO should be entitled.
If they do not like it then they should all go back to their own countries