Staten Island Officials Call on Mayor to Revisit "Right to Shelter," Tell POTUS to Secure Border

October 13, 2022

Staten Island Officials Call on Mayor to Revisit "Right to Shelter," Tell POTUS to Secure Border

(STATEN ISLAND, NY) - Staten Island elected officials Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), New York City Council Minority Leader Joseph Borelli, Councilman David Carr, State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Andrew Lanza, and Assemblymen Michael Reilly and Michael Tannousis issued the following statement regarding New York City Mayor Eric Adams' consideration of a deal with Norwegian Cruise Lines to house migrants on a ship docked at Staten Island's Homeport. According to reports, the liner would be leased for six months to house and process migrants before they enter the city's shelter system, allowing migrants to come and go while staying on the ship.

"President Biden's decision to end barrier construction, reverse "Remain in Mexico," and withhold resources from our Customs and Border Protection Agents has led to an influx of millions of migrants from over 60 countries at our southern border. We've said all along that Biden's lax-immigration policies would turn every town into a border town, and that's exactly what's happening in New York City. Instead of joining our calls for President Biden to secure our southern border, Mayor Adams is leasing out luxury hotel rooms impacting tourism, planning tent encampments in our public spaces impacting quality of life, and now may even bring in a cruise liner to house migrants off our shores at a tremendous expense to the citizens of New York. New York's "Right to Shelter" law is meant for American citizens in need of temporary assistance, not for millions of people from across the globe to take advantage of. The Mayor should immediately revisit this law and seek clarification that the city is not required to house citizens of other nations.

"While we understand the desire so many have to come to our country in search of the American Dream, there are laws and processes in place that must be followed to protect our national security and the safety of the migrants themselves. Right now, New Yorkers are struggling with the high cost of living; they are dipping into their savings to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. The last thing our constituents need is to be forced to pay for the shelter, education, and health care of those crossing our open border at an alarming rate, which the Comptroller says may cost our city alone up to $1 billion in the short term. This is money that could be used to reduce classroom sizes, hire more cops, or simply return to the taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet during this time of record-high inflation. The way this crisis is being handled is uncompassionate, unsustainable, and utterly incompetent. We stand united in strong opposition to any housing deal on or off the shores of Staten Island and encourage the Mayor to help bring together key stakeholders on both sides of the aisle at all levels of government to discuss solutions for this crisis that's placing an undue burden on our local systems and the residents of our city."