Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Espaillat host tour of Roosevelt Hotel migrant housing
Reps. Adriano Espaillat and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted some of their colleagues for a tour of the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan.
The tour brought leaders an up-close look at the conditions that asylum seekers are living in at the hotel.
As the first formerly undocumented immigrant ever to serve in Congress, Espaillat can relate to the stories of the children, families and people fleeing violence.
“We see stories, so many heartbreaking stories, that are manifested here,” said Espaillat. “As you can see, this is a contentious issue, but I think these are folks that will take New York City to a better place.”
Those stories were drowned out by a small but vocal group that surrounded them on East 46th Street by the hotel, chanting things like “send them back” and “close the border."
Ocasio-Cortez says there is hope but that it requires work – including allowing federal work authorizations for the immigrants and simplifying a program that currently includes paperwork and, for some, a six-month waiting program.
City officials have called on lawmakers in Albany to pass a bill that would allow work permits to come from the state level but that isn’t guaranteed to hold up in court.