A resident of Staten Island is so fed up with the migrants being sent to a shelter in his neighborhood that he set up a loudspeaker and sign to dissuade them from settling in.
Scott Herkert has been outspoken in his opposition to the migrant shelter that was set up at a former Catholic high school in his neighborhood, and he has now ramped up his efforts against the controversial policy.
The loudspeaker tells migrants they are being lied to and that the shelter has cockroaches and rats. The messages are recorded in six languages.
"This building has mold and is unsafe for you!" the recording says. "You're being lied to! This building is not safe for humans! The community wants you to go back to New York City! Immigrants are not safe here!"
Herkert also set up on his lawn a large blue banner reading, "NO F%*KIN WAY!"
Residents of Staten Island have voiced their opposition to the shelter in various ways, including public protest and lawsuits. Some of the migrants have responded by refusing to live at the shelter, while others have chosen to ignore residents' opposition and move in to the former high school.
That opposition has led to a feud between the mayor of New York City and the governor of New York. Mayor Eric Adams has demanded that other cities in the state take up some of the burden of housing migrants, while Gov. Kathy Hochul has argued that the city is best suited to provide services for the migrants.
One of the migrants at the shelter spoke to the Associated Press about the loudspeaker.
“We have to close our eyes and close our ears,” said Aminetou El Alewai, a woman from Mauritania. “We are good people. We are not criminals. We came because of problems in our country."
In a previous interview, Herkert said that officials did not involve local residents in the decision to house migrants there.
"No one asked me if I wanted it. I didn't ask for it, [but] it's in my backyard now," he told WNYW-TV.
"My son's view from his bedroom is showers and a garbage container. That's just the direct impact. More importantly, the safety, like I said, we don't know who's coming from the border — and they could be great people — we don't know that," Herkert added.
A poll in August found that a majority of New Yorkers say the migrant crisis is serious and they blame Democrat politicians for the chaos from migrant shelters.
Adams has said that as many as 100,000 migrants have arrived in New York City and claimed that the overwhelming number of migrants would destroy the city.
Here's the news report about the unwelcoming sign:
Loudspeaker message outside NYC migrant shelter warns new arrivals they are 'not safe here'www.youtube.com
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