NYPD tells asylum seekers camped out in Midtown to leave as lawmakers head to Brooklyn to tour new shelter


NEW YORK — Controversy continues to erupt over the city’s decision to transfer asylum seekers from the Watson Hotel in Midtown to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

On Wednesday, city council members visited the new facility.

But what do the men who moved there think?

Lawmakers joined the chorus of calls, criticizing living conditions at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal – the new home for 1,000 asylum seekers.

“The City of New York is trying to discourage people from staying under their care and that’s why they’ve set up these types of meeting facilities as they’ve done,” said Councilman Lincoln Restler.

READ MORE: Asylum seekers camped in front of the Watson Hotel say they want to hear directly from Mayor Eric Adams

For days, the city struggles to convince those staying at the Midtown hotel to move to Red Hook so that hotel rooms can be given to families.

Many have refusedas he chose to camp in front of the Watson in the cold arguing that the new shelter is isolated, has no transportation, and the beds are stacked head to toe.

CBS2’s Ali Bauman witnessed NYPD officers outside the Watson Hotel Wednesday night telling those still remaining on the sidewalk to pack up and leave.

Asylum seekers CBS2 spoke to in Brooklyn on Wednesday said they had adapted just fine.

“A single man can go anywhere, sleep anywhere, eat whatever, but with kids it’s a different matter,” said Colombia’s Oscar Marin.

The city has countered the negative backlash by posting videos and photos of the facility, reiterating that it has nearly 100 toilets, controlled temperature, hot showers and three meals a day.

Mayor Eric Adams accuses some bad actors of spreading misinformation.

“The overwhelming number of them are moving. According to my analysis, there are still about 30, and I’m not even sure if they’re migrants. There are some troublemakers who just really… I think they’re doing the migrants a disservice, Adams said.

READ MORE: Mayor Adams’ plan to use the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal as an emergency shelter for asylum seekers has met with opposition

But proponents say it’s no surprise why people would be upset.

“Nobody wants to sleep in the same room with 999 people. I think it’s a very difficult position to be put in, especially for clients who have been through a lot of trauma,” said Kathryn Kliff, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society.

Activists and councilors say there’s no reason the city can’t open more hotels for the asylum seekers. The move to Brooklyn adds to their trauma.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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