Migrants who have been camped out on a Manhattan sidewalk, protesting plans to relocate them to a new facility in Brooklyn, finally boarded a bus to their new shelter on Wednesday evening – despite left-wing agitators telling them it was cold and uninhabitable.
The situation has become particularly acute as temperatures in New York City are set to fall to 18F on Friday.
Amid tense scenes and following a three-day standoff, DailyMail.com witnessed as around 10 migrants boarded a bus to take them from their $450-a-night hotel to the new facility.
Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, has turned a cruise terminal in the Red Hook district of Brooklyn into a shelter, with capacity for 1,000 people.
Activists held umbrellas to try and block news cameras, and abuse was hurled at reporters. One reporter, filming for Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV, had his camera smashed by a migrant.
Migrants are seen camped outside the Watson Hotel in Manhattan on Wednesday
Authorities provided pizza, water and fruit to the migrants as they tried to convince them to move to the new Brooklyn facility
Police warned the migrants, but did not make any arrests.
City Hall has blamed activists from groups including South Bronx Mutual Aid for fueling the standoff, with mayoral press secretary Fabien Levy saying: ‘I don’t even understand the logic here.’
He added: ‘Instead of encouraging asylum seekers to sleep in warm, indoor, temperature-controlled quarters at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, these groups are telling migrants to sleep in tents on the streets.
‘The lack of reasoning here is astounding.’
Adams, who switches between begging the federal government for assistance to deal with the influx and boasting about his city being welcoming, toured the new site on Monday.
‘Since last summer, New York City has opened five Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers and 80+ emergency shelters to help the 43,000+ asylum seekers who have arrived,’ his office tweeted.
‘We’ve offered them shelter, food, legal assistance and other resources as we await national support.’
But many of the migrants were reluctant to move and, when evicted from their rooms at The Watson hotel on Sunday, took to camping on the sidewalk.
Activists held up umbrellas to block news crews on Wednesday amid tense scenes outside the hotel
Some of the migrants hurled abuse at the news media, and one reporter had his camera struck and damaged by a migrant
Migrants are seen camping outside, with food provided by the city authorities
Migrants were given plates of spaghetti, heated up in a microwave on the sidewalk
Coffee and a microwave was provided for the migrants camped out on the sidewalk
Hot waffles, spaghetti and omelettes in bread rolls were provided to the migrants
Buses are seen arriving outside the Watson Hotel to transport migrants to Brooklyn
DailyMail.com witnessed 10 migrants boarding the bus. The mayor’s office said a dozen have left
Rev. Erick Salgado, an evangelical pastor from southern Brooklyn who serves as assistant commissioner in the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, was trying to convince migrants on Wednesday to leave their temporary sidewalk home, assuring them the new site was better.
Addressing them in Spanish, he urged the crowd to get on to the waiting buses.
‘We are looking to transfer most of the asylum-seekers to the HERRC in Brooklyn,’ he said, referring to the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center (HERRC).
‘We all know it is going to be getting real cold and windy and we want to make sure that they have the resources they need this winter.
‘Yesterday we went over there to the Brooklyn facility with many of them.
‘The majority of them want to go and stay there in Brooklyn – they have transportation. We have buses. And many of the local churches I put in place to help them over there as well.’
When a bus arrived, one migrant was heard by DailyMail.com yelling: ‘Whoever wants to go, go.
‘Whoever wants to stay, stay. We’re not going to sleep on those s*** beds.’
On Wednesday evening, the city’s immigration office tweeted: ‘Twelve more #AsylumSeekers, including several who joined Commissioner on the tour yesterday, have agreed to leave the encampment outside the #WatsonHotel and move to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal HERRC.
‘Thanks to all helping to dispel misinformation.’