A Staten Island community board will hold a public hearing Tuesday night to address local opposition to the city’s plan to house asylum seekers in the borough.
At least one hotel in Travis, a neighborhood represented by City Councilman David Carr, recently began housing migrant families, lawmakers including Carr and Staten Island Borough President Vito Fosella said at a news conference on Oct. 4.
Staten Island Community Board 2 is hosting a virtual hearing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss the situation, District Manager Debra Derrico confirmed in an email to NY1.
What You Need To Know
- Staten Island Community Board 2 is hosting a virtual hearing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to address local opposition to the city's plan to house asylum seekers in the borough
- At least one hotel in Travis recently began housing migrant families, lawmakers Staten Island Borough President Vito Fosella said at a news conference on Oct. 4
- Mayor Eric Adams declared the influx of asylum seekers arriving in the five boroughs a “state of emergency" last week
At the Oct. 4 news conference, held days before Mayor Eric Adams declared the influx of asylum seekers arriving in the five boroughs a “state of emergency,” Fosella maintained the crisis was “spinning out of control.”
“There are many people who claimed that this day would come, and now, a federal issue that requires a federal solution has become a Staten Island problem, and specifically, here in Travis, a Travis problem,” Fosella said.
“There’s not a more generous country in the world, year after year, than the United States, and I would dare say the people of Staten Island are always willing to help those in need, whether it’s food, or clothing, or shelter, so it’s not about this notion of a lack of compassion or understanding,” he added. “It’s about, why are the people of Staten Island forced to deal with an issue that they did not create, and they don’t want in their backyards, so to speak?”
Travis Civic Association President Gene Guerra echoed Fosella’s remarks, saying his neighborhood was “not the place for these asylum seekers.”
“First and foremost, we sympathize with these folks that are coming here, okay? I’m sure they didn’t expect to be bounced around the way they’re being bounced around, these families moving here and there, one day to the next,” Guerra said. “But you have to understand that these hotels that are behind me were not built for long-term residents.”
While Adams’ press secretary told NY1 he could not confirm that the city was using hotels on Staten Island to house migrants, Adams on Tuesday said no borough would be exempt from providing shelter.
The city has opened “46 or 47 emergency hotels” to address the crisis, he said at a news conference Tuesday morning. As of Friday, more than 17,000 asylum seekers had arrived in the city.
“This is a citywide crisis, and all of us are going to be impacted, and Staten Island is going to be impacted like the other four boroughs,” the mayor said.
“No one gets a pass during an emergency. Everyone must do their share,” he added. “And if they’re willing to stand up and hold a press conference in their district and say, ‘We don’t want any asylum seekers here,’ then they can do that.”