NYIC Demands Solution to Shelter Crisis as Asylum Seekers Face-off with Police at Watson Hotel

New York, NY—Yesterday, asylum seekers refused to leave the Watson Hotel, after the city attempted to move them to a new 1,000-bed HERRC at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. 

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:

“Housing rights experts and immigrant rights advocates like ourselves have been stating for weeks that the new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal HERRC is in a transit desert, much like the Orchard Beach and Randalls Island locations were, and doesn’t meet the health and safety needs of residents. Yesterday there was a stand-off between asylum seekers and the police at the Watson Hotel because they refused to reside in another temporary shelter that put them further away from the services they need to access to get on the road to self-sufficiency. Rather than creating more unsuitable, temporary shelters, the City must support residents by moving them into permanent housing, especially those that have been stuck in our shelter system for years. New York City needs bold solutions to its affordable housing and supportive housing crisis, not half-measures that ultimately hurt the very people they are trying to help.”