Advocates for asylum seekers rally to close Brooklyn Cruise Terminal shelter
Immigrants and advocates rallied Sunday afternoon outside the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal shelter to demand an end to what they called "inhumane conditions" there.
Critics of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal plan said the Adams administration should shut down the massive shelter and allow migrants to stay in hotels.
Organizers from the group By Any Means Necessary said that the fenced warehouse in Red Hook is isolating migrants from the community and putting them at risk of being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers or mistreated.
Last week, many migrants were forced to relocate to the terminal shelter after a stand-off between the city and asylum seekers. They camped outside the Watson Hotel in the city for several days.
In a statement, Mayor Eric Adams defended the shelter, saying, “I'd like to be clear that the facilities at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal are providing the same services to asylum seekers as every other humanitarian relief center in the city, and the team at the terminal is giving new meaning to the words 'love thy neighbor.'"
Adams spent the night at the facility on Friday, but advocates criticized his sleep over, saying it was a public relations campaign to cover for the fact that the facility is an immigrant detention center funded by city resources and enforced by NYPD.
Organizers invited the migrants to join them in the rally.
Asylum seekers who are staying at facility can come in and go out freely, but By Any Means Necessary organizers denounced it because of what they said are the cold temperatures inside and the lack of privacy. They also said having the migrants in close proximity to one another raises the risk of COVID-19 exposure.
Some asylum seekers who spoke with News 12 said they had mixed feelings about the facility. While some echoed the groups' concerns, others said that even if the facility is not ideal, they are grateful to have a roof over their head.
Organizers said they will continue to fight for the closure of the facility at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. They said they will hold another rally at the facility next Saturday.