Standoff continues as migrants voice frustration on Brooklyn Cruise Terminal relocation
The standoff between the city and migrants continues after buses arrived outside the Watson Hotel to move them to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
Asylum seekers have taken everything they own and slept outside on the sidewalk outside the hotel, and they say they do not plan on leaving anytime soon. According to them, the cold conditions outside are better than those they face inside of the shelters created for them by the city.
This has created a lot of tension the past few days between city officials and the migrants.
Kennedy Gonzalez told News 12 he was woken up in the early hours of the morning as city officials asked him to leave his room at the Watson Hotel. He says he wasn't supposed to leave until 8 a.m., but the knock came three hours earlier than he expected.
Gonzalez is now one of dozens of asylum seekers camped out on the sidewalk who say they were told by city workers that since they did not get on the buses taking them to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, they are no longer a part of the New York City shelter system.
As activists brought food and supplies to try and help those waiting in the cold, the frustration spilled out onto the streets as migrants fought with one another. Police were seen on video breaking up the altercation.
Mayor Eric Adams' office issued a response to the situation stating, "... We continue to surpass our moral obligations as we provide asylum seekers with shelter, food, health care, education, and a host of other services."
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is supposed to house about 1,000 adult men offering the same services as the other four humanitarian relief centers across the city. This includes on-site medical, food, and laundry services. Migrants say the conditions are less than favorable, including beds stacked next to each other, sleeping in cold rooms and the shelters having early curfews, making it difficult to find work.
The city says it is asking this group of migrants to leave because they want to make space for migrant families.