NYC Democrat Lincoln Restler thinks city should coax migrants to stay longer
Isn’t illegal border crossing frowned upon?
A progressive City Council Democrat has blasted the shelters at a new Brooklyn shelter for migrants — because it doesn’t appear hospitable enough to persuade asylum seekers to stay longer.
“It’s a situation that I believe should encourage people to move on as soon as possible,” Councilman Lincoln Restler (D-Brooklyn) bleated Wednesday.
After touring the converted Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook with other officials, Restler complained that “a thousand cots were lined up in rows a dozen long.”
“If you sleep in the middle of a row, you have eight people around you – 3 feet in each direction, if not closer. There’s no privacy at all,” he said.
The Liberal Pol’s complaint comes despite Mayor Eric Adams, who declared a state of emergency over the migrant crisis in October and said it will cost taxpayers up to $2 billion to provide housing and other services to the migrant population – now 43,200 and counting to deliver.
Still, Restler accused the city of “trying to keep people from staying in their care, and that’s why they set up this community facility.”
Councilwoman Alexa Aviles (D-Brooklyn), whose district includes the cruise terminal, also complained that the area was “not meant for pedestrians.”
“The lighting issue is probably something we want to address and make sure it’s adequate lighting for people to move around,” added Aviles, who toured the shelter with Restler.
But council member Robert Holden (D-Queens), who did a later tour, said: “It was great there. It was warm, a comfortable temperature. It’s well organized and the showers were clean and brand new.”
Holden, chairman of the Veterans Committee, also noted that veterans “don’t get it. We don’t give that to our own citizens.”
“Well, I just don’t get it,” he said of the complaints. “If they want to do that in their own districts and put them in their own homes and offer them all the services, let them do that.”
The cruise terminal facility is at the heart of the migrant standoff at the three-star Watson Hotel in Manhattan, where about 35 migrants who used to live there camped out on the sidewalk on Wednesday.
Four migrants from the Watson checked into the cruise terminal Tuesday with Manuel Castro, the city’s commissioner for immigrant affairs, but decided they’d rather go back and sleep outdoors.