Faith, community leaders gather to support migrants on Staten Island in wake of protests

ByEyewitness News

Thursday, September 7, 2023 9:52PM

Faith, community leaders gather to support migrants on Staten Island

STATEN ISLAND, New York City (WABC) — There was a show of support Thursday afternoon on Staten Island for migrants.

Faith and community members converged to let the migrants know they are welcome.

“We are to treat these neighbors with same compassion that we would wish to be shown if we were in their shoes,” said Rev. Karen Pershing with Project Hospitality.

They say the fear and anger over migrants helps no one.

“Even today, right now, we’re still struggling for civil rights because there are people who condemn us without even knowing us,” said Zulqarnain Abdu-Shahid with Bait-ul Jamaat House Of Community.

Their mission comes on the heels of several protests on Staten Island that aimed to push migrants out of the Saint John Villa Academy. They are not comfortable with the approximately 50 migrants staying on the campus.

Opponents have also sued the city to shut down the site for good.

Their concerns were echoed by Mayor Eric Adams, who just last night had this to say about the city’s migrant crisis.

“Let me tell you something New Yorkers, never in my life did I have a problem that I did not see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this. I don’t see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City,” Adams said.

The mayor says the issue is creating a $12 billion budget deficit.

Adams says the city is supporting 110,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in the five boroughs since April 2022.

Meanwhile in Bushwick on Thursday morning, police arrested six asylum seekers on charges including assault on a police officer, saying the men were forcefully intervening as officers seized illegal mopeds and scooters in front of a shelter on Flushing Avenue.

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