Upwards of 400 local residents of the Arrochar neighborhood of northeast Staten Island rallied on August 28 to oppose the arrival of illegal border crossers after a shuttered Catholic school building was quietly designated as a migrant shelter without consulting the neighborhood.
The hundreds of neighbors are unhappy that the building, formerly housing the St. John Villa Catholic school, has been declared a shelter for 300 illegals, a designation that locals accuse Mayor Eric Adams of making “in a cloud of secrecy.”
NYPD jacks up security at Staten Island migrant shelter as protests rock neighborhood https://t.co/VvYAuGVOvX pic.twitter.com/DYQaSA6nyI
— New York Post (@nypost) August 27, 2023
“It’s a clusterf**k,” an alarmed resident told the New York Post. “The city really screwed it up. Before we even talk about whether I want migrants here or not, the way it was handled was terrible.”
The people will not remain silent.
Hundreds of outraged New Yorkers gather on Staten Island to protest unvetted migrants being housed against their wishes at St. John’s Villa. pic.twitter.com/w6I9Z0PcMt
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) August 28, 2023
Residents unfurled a large banner ahead of the rally reading, “NO F%*KIN WAY!” as they gathered to voice their opposition to the shelter being opened in a building that is flanked by two active elementary schools.
Scott LaBaido calls for a massive protest in Staten Island:
“This is ground zero for this insanity. This is a major residential area. They’re gonna be housing hundreds of young men from all over the world who haven’t been vetted. NO F–KING WAY!” pic.twitter.com/VqTooJywuG
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) August 23, 2023
“The message is that here in Staten Island, we love immigrants,” rally organizer John Tobacco added. “We’re the most Italian-American congressional district in the country, and all our ancestors came here legally. We love anyone who comes here legally.”
Tobacco also called the avalanche of illegals “unsustainable.”
“This isn’t our problem,” he continued. “I think people are fed up. We want answers from people that we voted for.”
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
The decision was made so quietly that local GOP state Assemblyman Michael Tannousis said that he was never told about the move.
“I found out about this location when it was already out in the newspaper,” he said. Worse, he said he was told that Adams’ office was not going house migrants in his area at all.
The rally was just one of several that have sprung up outside the Arrochar school shelter. Last week a rally grew to nearly 1,000 angry residents, the paper reported.
One resident wondered why she has been forced to get a coronavirus vaccination, but the illegals streaming across the border and being dumped in New York City don’t have to get one. “We don’t even know the first thing about them. You’re letting everybody into the country,” she added.
“I think they should come the same way my ancestors came through — Ellis Island. Make them come [into the U.S.] the right way,” the woman told the paper.
“It’s a f–k you to Staten Island,” resident Tony Banks told the Post during Sunday’s rally.
MIGRANTS REMOVED FROM STATEN ISLAND SITE
AFTER PROTEST, RESTRAINING ORDER pic.twitter.com/ETaIjKqlR1
— 1776 (@TheWakeninq) August 26, 2023
“This is possibly the worst site picked in New York City,” Banks exclaimed. “Why would they pick this particular site other than just trying to say to the [Staten Island] politicians involved, ‘F–k you. This is what we can and will do.’”
GOP city Councilman David Carr told residents that he has been working to oppose the St. John Villa shelter. But it seems unlikely his efforts will see any results.
Organizers protesting the shelter plan to continue holding rallies.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston
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