Protesters voice concerns as New York officials give update on migrant crisis

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, September 15, 2023
Protesters voice concerns as public officials give update on migrant crisis
Protesters greeted the Congressional Hispanic Caucus with loud rebuttals and jeers as visiting public officials attempted to give an update on the migrant crisis. Sade Baderwina ha

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- What was supposed to be an update on New York's migrant crisis was quickly drowned out by protestors in Midtown on Friday, as chants to close the southern border left New York representatives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fighting to get a word in.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus ended their news conference outside the Migrant Welcoming Center at the Roosevelt Hotel after just 7 minutes, after being greeted by those chants.

The Caucus wants to increase federal resources for New York City and speed up federal approvals for work authorizations.

This is in line with the message from Mayor Eric Adams who joined Eyewitness News @10 this week and said the work permits are his first priority.

"What we are doing to the migrants, it is wrong," he said. "The precursor to sleep that allows us to experience the American dream is the right to work."

This comes as Mayor Adams announced Friday that the federal government and New York City came to an agreement to use Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn to shelter migrants, an issue that has also led to protests.

Governor Kathy Hochul said she wants to work out a federal agreement to issue state work permits, which would be unprecedented.

She says temporary protective status for Venezuelans is just as important to her as the work authorizations.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez wants to extend temporary protective statues to include asylum seekers from other countries.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said as they toured the migrant processing center on Friday, and they want to continue to believe there is hope for the migrants.

"We see so many heartbreaking stories, manifest itself here," Rep. Adriano Espaillat said. "What we saw were children, families, people that want to work, people who are fleeing violence, people who are fleeing environmental disasters."

Right now, there are more than 59,000 asylum seekers in New York City shelters.

"The American dream will not be bullied into submission today," Espaillat said. "We will continue to fight for the American dream."


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