Germania Rodriguez Poleo, Daily Mail, November 28, 2023
New York City’s migrant programs are collapsing as racial tensions rise between asylum seekers from Latin America and Africa – with both groups telling DailyMail.com they are being discriminated against.
Hundreds of asylum seekers lined 7th street and Avenue B in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, with many having already waited several days to be given temporary housing after they were kicked out of shelters under mayor Eric Adam’s 30-day limit for single adults.
Adam’s administration has been struggling to deal with a massive surge of migrants that has seen over 140,000 arrive since last year. The Democrat imposed shelter stays to mitigate the situation, but now migrants looking to renew their stays have overwhelmed the East Village street outside the former St. Brigid School.
Emerson, a migrant from Venezuela, told DailyMail.com he has been on the streets for 10 days because he has been unable to renew his shelter stay. He’d previously renewed it at The Roosevelt Hotel with no issues, but the city has now shifted the program to the school where he claimed it is unorganized and inefficient.
‘The problem now is that there is a collapse. Before [at The Roosevelt], there was a lot of people, but there was order. Here, there’s no order,’ Emerson added. ‘I’ve been outside this shelter for three days. From here, they send us to another site, then another, and then we end up here again.’
Ibrahim, from Chad, has been waiting for five days to be given new temporary housing, and told DailyMail.com city officials keep telling him to come back the next day because there is no room at shelters.
‘The situation here is difficult. We don’t have food or toilets. We’re sleeping on the streets’ Ibrahim said.
City officials have been telling migrants to spend the night at a shelter in the Bronx, but many of the asylum seekers said they prefer to sleep on the streets or train stations near St Brigid in order to be first in line in the morning.
Moreover, migrants claimed there are no beds at the Bronx shelter, and they’re forced to sleep on the floor and told to leave as early as 4am.
Many of the migrants DailyMail.com spoke to on Monday recalled a man getting hypothermic the previous night and taken to the hospital after 911 was called.
Migrants looking for a train or plane ticket elsewhere in the nation are also lined up outside the former school, but they are given priority and allowed to go in in front of those looking for shelter.
DailyMail.com witnessed an NYPD officer saying the situation had gotten much worse since Monday, saying ‘it’s much colder today. Everyone’s mad.’
As the migrants wait for days on-end in freezing temperatures, tensions are palpable between the Africans, mostly from Mauritania and Chad, and Latinos, mostly from Venezuela and Ecuador.
Both groups said they felt the other is being prioritized by the city, with Africans claiming city workers can usually communicate with the Spanish and French speakers, but not with those who speak Arabic, which makes things harder for them.
Ibrahim, from Chad, said: ‘There are people inside who speak Spanish and they help each other, and that is the majority, and they are the ones who quickly find shelter. We Arabic speakers have no one to help us.’
DailyMail.com witnessed African migrants trying to speak to NYPD officers, but they only spoke Spanish.
The Latin American migrants, on their side, claimed it is them who are being discriminated against, as they spoke of cultural differences causing friction in the shelters. They particularly spoke of Muslim migrants washing their feet before prayer in bathroom sinks causing issues and other sanitary issues.
Emerson, from Venezuela, said: ‘Yesterday we came very early and couldn’t enter because of the disorganization and the fighting. The issue here now is this disorder… we don’t want to talk about racism but I think Latinos are being less attended than the others… I don’t even wanna name them.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to Adam’s office for comment on this story.
It comes as border crossings remain at record numbers, posing a significant challenge to the Biden administration that has put a heavy weight on progressive northern cities like NYC.
A Texas border crossing was closed to vehicles Monday, and traffic at an Arizona crossing was limited to shift more resources to illegal entries, U.S. authorities said in the latest sign of how fast-changing migration routes are challenging the government to keep up.
The situation proves mayor Adam’s warning that the migrant crisis would become more visually present for New Yorkers. The mayor even traveled to Colombia to visit the route taken by the migrants arriving in NYC, but the migrants have not stopped showing up in the Big Apple.
When Texas governor Greg Abbott first sent buses to NYC in August 2022, Adams spokesman told the media, ‘New York will continue to welcome asylum seekers with open arms.’
But a year later, Adams had completely changed his tune. ‘I don’t see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City,’ he declared in September.
Since President Joe Biden took office in 2001, 3.8 million migrants have crossed the southern border into the Lone Star State.
And it has now emerged Texas spent a staggering $86.1 million busing migrants out of its state to self-declared sanctuary cities including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington DC and Denver – at a cost of $1,650 per migrant, according to a report by Axios.
Adams has estimated the city will spend $12 billion over the next three years to handle the influx, setting up large-scale emergency shelters, renting out hotels and providing various government services for migrants.
Earlier this month the Democrat announced a $110.5 billion budget, claiming cuts across all departments were necessary after the city spent $1.45 billion in fiscal 2023 on the migrant crisis.
The budget cuts would cause NYPD officers to be cut by a fifth, or 13.5 percent, by postponing the next five academy classes, bringing officers below 30,000 – down from 36,000.
Education would also take a $1 billion hit over two years and it would cause a delay in the rollout of composting in the Bronx and Staten Island, causing reduced trash pick-ups as well as cuts to the city’s pre-K programs.
The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library also would need to eliminate Sunday service due to the budget cut.
‘Without sufficient funding, we cannot sustain our current levels of service, and any further cuts to the Libraries’ budgets will, unfortunately, result in deeper service impacts,’ the libraries said in a statement.
The cuts would also decrease funding for two children’s programs: summer school and universal prekindergarten.
Adams has long warned about the potential of budget cuts to help offset the rise in costs for housing migrants. He has pleaded with the federal government for more resources, but they have fallen on deaf ears.