New York, Jan. 31.
The administration of New York Mayor Eric Adams is trying on Tuesday to reach an agreement with a group of immigrants who recently arrived in the city and have been sleeping in the street for three days, in protest for having been removed from the hotel that served as a shelter to be sent to a temporary shelter for men, in a cruise terminal.
The immigrants, mostly Venezuelan men, among them Colombians and Ecuadorians, claim that the terminal does not meet the requirements for living, since it has no heating, few bathrooms, beds very close to each other, they have to cross the street to take a shower and they also denounce that it is far away and dark, so they fear for their safety at night.
“We are not demanding a hotel room, but a decent place to live,” several told GLM. “They told us we would be here for two years and I have only been here for two months,” others stated.
After three days on the sidewalk in front of the Watson Hotel, in the well-known Hell’s Kitchen area of lower Manhattan, there are no longer any tents after a warning from the police, who have been on the scene since Monday and set up barricades to ensure that order is maintained.
On the sidewalk remain suitcases, clothes, chairs and blankets, and some migrants tucked in from head to toe, as the winter temperature has dropped, as well as a table with hot coffee, fruit and other refreshments provided by support groups.
Representatives of the Office of Emigrant Affairs were talking in the morning hours with the migrants in an attempt to reach an agreement for them to move to the new shelter.
“This (the hotel) is a transitory site, we are trying to help them, we have to move them to accommodate (in this place) families with children who keep arriving,” the Rev. Eric Salgado, who works for the Office of Immigrant Affairs, who went to the site as well as that agency’s chief of staff, Miguel Santana, told them.
“We felt cheated by what they told us (that they would be there for two years),” said the spokesman for the group, who identified himself only as Labrador.
The commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, Mexican Manuel Castro – who arrived in this city as an undocumented immigrant – showed up a short time later and, after listening to the complaints, they agreed to move to the terminal to discuss the group’s concerns.
“We can only stay there for five months, what’s going to happen after that?” shouted one.
The immigrants, part of the wave of some 42,000 who have arrived in the city since last May, were notified last week that they should leave the hotel between Saturday and today, Tuesday, and were assigned a day and time. Today the last of them left and most opted to move to Brooklyn, on a bus provided by the city, and others were trying to find a solution to their situation outside a shelter.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.