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Mayor Adams Says Asylum Crisis Will Destroy New York City

Since April 2022, nearly 110,000 migrants have made their way into the city, with about 60,000 still in the city’s care. Without more support from the federal government, Mayor Eric Adams does not see a solution to the issue.

With nearly 110,000 migrants, who the Adams administration identifies as asylum seekers, having made their way to the five boroughs since April 2022, the mayor said this crisis "will destroy New York City."

At a Town Hall meeting on the Upper West Side, the mayor said he doesn't see how this problem will be resolved because the city is not getting enough support from the federal government.

"Let me tell you something, New Yorkers. Never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to. I don't see an ending to this. I don't see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City," Adams said. "We're getting 10,000 migrants a month ... Now we're getting people from all over the globe have made their minds up that they're going to come through the southern part of the border and come into New York City."

About 60,000 migrants remain in the city's care. However, the city has consistently put Staten Island's share of the housing capacity at 2 percent throughout the crisis.

Despite that, Staten Islanders, including the borough's Republican elected officials, have led several rallies at the former St. John Villa Academy, which is the latest Staten Island-based shelter to open.

Two buses filled with about 50 migrants initially arrived at the shelter last month. About half of the migrants who arrived at the shelter requested to leave, citing safety concerns related to the ongoing protests, sources said.

The site has the capacity to house 350 people, according to City Hall officials.

While most of the protesters recently have focused on safety and quality-of-life concerns, some members of the crowds have lobbed insults at the arriving migrants and staff working at the St. John Villa site.

Tensions among the groups have prompted the NYPD to beef up the police presence around the St. John Villa Academy building and block off the location with metal barriers. In addition, cameras were installed nearby the former school last month in an effort to step up security at the location.

Lawsuit Against St. John Villa Migrant Shelter

On Aug. 25, a judge temporarily blocked the housing of migrants at St. John Villa, but it was overturned a few hours later after an appeal by the city. The Appellate Court removed a vacate order, which allowed migrants already moved into the shelter to stay.

After a recent tour of the site with the city Office of Emergency Management representatives, several Staten Island elected officials requested in a letter the agency, which oversees the site, institute a curfew like those at city homeless shelters operated by Department of Social Services and Department of Homeless Services, said Councilman David Carr ( R-Mid-Island). The letter was also signed by other elected officials who represent the area: State Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (D- Staten Island/ Brooklyn), Assemblyman Mike Tannousis (R-East Shore), Borough President Vito Fossella and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R- Staten Island/ Brooklyn).

City Hall sources say the Adams administration is considering the curfew, the Advance/ previously reported.

The city has owned the St. John Villa site since 2018, when it finalized a $20 million purchase from the Sisters of St. John the Baptist. It had promised to convert the former Catholic school into a public school.

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(c)2023 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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