Things got wild on Tuesday evening as local residents blocked a bus carrying asylum seekers and illegal immigrants into Staten Island. With over 100,000 people seeking entry into the United States flowing into New York City over the past year, tensions have boiled over, which led to this incident.
Video footage captured protesters banging on the bus and halting traffic, screaming, “You’re not welcome!” and “You are illegal!”
Outraged Staten Island residents took to the street Tuesday night to physically block the arrival of an MTA bus carrying asylum seekers to a newly converted shelter — a move that Mayor Eric Adams called “ugly,” even as over 100,000 migrants have been shipped to the Big Apple since last year.
The group of unruly protesters, captured on video wailing and banging on the sides of the bus, halted traffic just before 10 p.m. after intercepting the bus, which was headed to the former Island Shores senior assisted living facility.
Police said 10 people were taken into custody, with nine being issued summonses for disorderly conduct.
A 48-year-old man, identified as Vadim Belyakov, was charged for allegedly assaulting an officer who was trying to make an arrest.
Good Morning X-Land. Staten Island peaceful protestors being arrested last night over migrants being bused into their community. How long before the entire country says no more? pic.twitter.com/arXOct5Uw4
— SweetPeaBelle (@SweetPeaBell326) September 20, 2023
“Take your badge off!”
Pissed off New Yorker confronts NYPD officers after they arrested peaceful protesters for blocking migrant access to a Staten Island nursing home. pic.twitter.com/HBDhxVtXkF
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) September 20, 2023
New York City Mayor Eric Adams condemned the actions of the protesters but highlighted that New Yorkers are “concerned” about the influx of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers into the city, a trend that has forced the city to slash its budgets.
“We have 8.3 million New Yorkers and we cannot allow the numerical minority that shows an ugly display of how we deal with crisis be used as an example of what New Yorkers are doing. Of course, New Yorkers are frustrated, New Yorkers are really concerned,” the mayor said.
“And even the migrants are really concerned,” Adams added. “We are both stating that this crisis should be dealt with in a manner where the national government carries out the role that it is supposed to. It should not be left on the backs of New York City residents.”
Adams noted that the NYPD “handled those small number of people” who were acting disorderly.
However, some of the residents who were present at the incident indicated that it was law enforcement who escalated the situation.
But one protestor, Sal Monforte, who lives 200 feet from the shelter, insisted to The Post the demonstration was peaceful – until cops arrived and turned the “scene into a riot.”
“People were getting arrested for no reason. The 10 people that got arrested last night should never have gotten arrested,” the retired construction worker, 59, said Wednesday.
“My daughter was holding my 5-year-old grandson last night and one cop was pushing her and I had to step in between.”
“It got a little hectic,” he added.
Monforte also criticized the mayor over his decision to deploy over 200 officers to the scene, arguing that it was an example of overreach.
Meanwhile, the city’s government has struggled to handle the constant flow of people into the city. It is reportedly considering a measure that would reduce the maximum length of time that a single adult could reside in shelters from 60 days to 30. Despite Adams’ pleas, the Biden administration has not deigned to meet with the mayor and has done little to offer federal support for housing the illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.
The Staten Island incident will probably not be the last of its type. New Yorkers are becoming fed up with having to shoulder the burden of housing the people being transported to the city. To make matters worse, socialist state lawmakers have proposed raising taxes on New York residents to pay for the influx without having to cut budgets. With no real solutions forthcoming, it appears the city will remain caught in a turbulent crossfire of emotions and lack of action.