Standoff between city, migrants heads in 3rd day as asylum seekers sleep in snow, cold

The standoff between migrants and the city heads was in its third day Wednesday as asylum seekers brace the cold outside the Watson Hotel in Hells Kitchen.

News 12 Staff

Feb 1, 2023, 11:51 AM

Updated 479 days ago


UPDATE: As the third day concludes for those camping outside of the Watson Hotel, the mayor's office provided this statement:
“We are grateful that almost all single men who were staying at the Watson Hotel have chosen to heed our calls and come inside from the frigid temperatures tonight. The single men who were staying at the Watson have now all either chosen to transfer to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal — a humanitarian relief center that multiple elected officials today called a ‘warm’ location — or decided to leave our care by connecting with friends, family, or other networks. Tonight, a joint effort by multiple city agencies began to clean up the block and encourage the few dozen asylum seekers to come inside as temperatures continued to drop. Immediately, most of the asylum seekers decided to board our busses and go to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, while six asylum seekers chose to be reticketed to meet friends or family in other cities and the remaining asylum seekers chose to go their own ways as agitators outside the Watson continued to encourage them to endanger their lives in these freezing temperatures and not accept shelter. To be clear, no arrests were made tonight, and the only items discarded were those on the street. Any items asylum seekers had in their rooms are still in our care and will remain available for pick up. Additionally, those who chose to leave on their own tonight will still have the ability to enter the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal if they come to us tomorrow or in the future.”
ORIGINAL: The standoff between migrants and the city was in its third day Wednesday as asylum seekers brace the cold outside the Watson Hotel in Hells Kitchen.
The standoff started Sunday night when city officials conducted a sweep of the hotel asking migrants inside to leave.
While New York City Immigration Affairs showed videos of the asylum seekers settling down in the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, those outside the Watson Hotel refuse to leave saying the conditions in the terminal are less than favorable.
The mayor's office says the city surpassed its moral obligation to extend help to the migrants. The city believes sign of protest was created as a way to stop efforts to support asylum seekers.
While asylum seekers were given the option to tour the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal facility, the majority of those camped outside the hotel declined the offer.
However, not all migrants who visited the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal are unhappy saying food, showers and bathrooms were available. 
The city planned to use the hotel for migrant families while the terminal was supposed to house about 1,000 single adult males.

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