Some 400 protesters gathered outside of a former Catholic school turned migrant shelter to angrily voice their opposition to how the facility is being utilized.
A large group of protesters gathered in Staten Island, New York City to protest against the borough hosting migrants at a former Catholic school. pic.twitter.com/rArr3Gd01I
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) August 28, 2023
According to the New York Post, the St. John Villa Academy was turned into a 300-bed shelter without neighbors being notified.
One of the organizers, John Tobacco, opened up about why everyone was so angry. He said, “The message is that here in Staten Island, we love immigrants.” He also noted that the border crisis is affecting everyone.
“This is unsustainable,” he added.
Hundreds of residents came holding the American flag and signs that displayed their frustration. One giant banner displayed the message “NO F%*KIN WAY.”
Tobacco also noted, “I think people are fed up. We want answers from people that we voted for.”
GOP State Assemblyman Michael Tannousis described how the city hid the shelter. “I found out about this location when it was already out in the newspaper,” he said.
One resident stated, “It was done in a cloud of secrecy.”
Another noted, “I think they should come the same way my ancestors came through — Ellis Island.”
“Make them come [into the US] the right way,” she added.
Resident Tony Banks said, “It’s a f–k you to Staten Island,” and called it, “the worst site picked in New York City.”
GOP City Councilman David Carr stated, “My colleagues and I continue to oppose the shelter opening at Villa and will continue to use every avenue available to us to stop it.”
He also signed a letter, along with over 100 other local leaders, seeking to address President Joe Biden and Congress regarding the border crisis.
This letter calls it a “humanitarian crisis” and asks for more funding to financially support “asylum seekers” and expedite work permits for these illegal immigrants.
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