Twenty homeless veterans from the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars have been booted out of hotels in upstate New York before their expected stays were over, likely to make room for incoming migrants.
The veterans, awaiting permanent housing, were just two weeks into their four-week stay when Sharon Toney-Finch, founder of YIT Foundation, which assists homeless and low-income veterans, received a call Sunday that they were being asked to leave, as reported by the New York Post.
She told the Post that some were removed from the Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh, Orange County, and others from the Super 8 and Hampton Inn & Suites in Middletown. The veterans are now staying at a Hudson Valley hotel.
“Now we have to work from ground zero,” Toney-Finch told the outlet. “We just lost that trust [with the vets].”
The veterans’ early checkout came just days before the expiration of former President Donald Trump’s pandemic-era Title 42. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, this allowed U.S. officials to turn away migrants who crossed the border illegally seeking asylum. While the hotels did not explicitly say the veterans had to move to make room for the migrants, Toney-Finch said the timing leads her to believe this is the case.
Since spring 2022, more than 60,000 migrants have arrived in New York City, and Mayor Eric Adams has been busing the migrants to cities such as Rockland, where the hotels have been offering housing, as reported by the Post.
The Middletown hotels are reportedly on the city’s shortlist to receive migrants. Toney-Finch said her nonprofit cannot compete with taxpayer-funded dollars used to house the immigrants.
“That’s so unfair, because at the end of the day, we are a small nonprofit, and we do pay $88 a day for a veteran to be there,” she added.
“Three separate lawsuits were filed on Friday by the Town of Newburgh and Orange County seeking a court to intervene and prevent New York City from sending migrants to the area,” the Mid Hudson News reported.
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