Migrants refuse to leave school-turned-shelter after community backlash leads to shutdown

Community opposition may have temporarily shuttered a New York Catholic school turned shelter, but a number of illegal aliens reportedly refused to vacate.

(Video: ABC7)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) has followed the Spirit Halloween model to address the U.S.-Mexico border crisis’ impact on the Big Apple, seemingly turning any available structure into a temporary shelter. However, the latest attempt to use St. John Villa Academy in Arrochar, Staten Island was met with considerable protest as well as shouts of “Go home!” and “You’re not welcome!”

Multiple outlets reported that only about 50 of a planned 300 aliens had been transported to the makeshift shelter where locals awaited beyond police barricades complete with a sign that read, “NO F****** WAY!”

Backed by local leaders and U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), the community took fault with the city’s decision to use the building, despite it having been closed for five years, as there were four other schools in the immediate vicinity according to ABC7.

Speaking at the protest outside the school, Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella said, “We have an all-girls Catholic high school literally 50 feet from this facility. If your 16-year-old daughter attended this school would you want a migrant shelter right across the street?”

However, not long after a bus filled with aliens had arrived, Judge Wayne Ozzi responded to a lawsuit filed Thursday and ruled that the shelter placed an undue burden on the community and that it would have to be shuttered at least until a Sept. 6 hearing.

“This is only the beginning of all legal remedies that I and our local elected leaders are prepared to take as we vigorously pursue every angle possible to stop this injustice to our taxpaying constituents who cannot and should not bear the burden of President Biden’s, Governor Hochul’s and Mayor Adams’ failures,” Malliotakis expressed in a post on X Friday.

While a number of the aliens had been seen exiting the building after the order from Ozzi, ABC7 indicated that as of Friday afternoon, some had refused to leave and it was unclear if they were escorted out of the school or not.

A spokesperson for the mayor defended the move to reutilize St. John Villa Academy in a statement to CBS News that read, “As we have emphasized repeatedly, with more than 100,000 asylum seekers that have come through our intake system since spring 2022 and hundreds more continuing to arrive in our city asking for shelter daily, New York City has been left largely alone to deal with a national crisis that demands difficult and swift decision-making.”

“[We] located the vacant St. John Villa Academy to serve as one of our respite sites for single women and adult families. We understand community concerns and want to assure them that we are working to ensure the site is well-managed,” the statement continued. “While New York City is leading the nation in welcoming asylum seekers, make no mistake, we cannot continue to do this alone.”

Hizzoner had contended that the volume of aliens coming to the city could cost as much as $12 billion through the summer of 2025 and that federal assistance would be needed to address the crisis. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) went on record criticizing Adams’ response, arguing that he had “failed” in managing the crisis and “it is true that they did not accept some of the help we offered. That’s a statement of fact.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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