NEW YORK (NewsNation) — A rise in resistance against migrants is growing in Staten Island as protesters tried to stop asylum seekers from moving into a shelter.
New York Assemblyman Michael Tannousis and other elected officials held a news conference Thursday regarding the controversy. It took place across the street from the migrant shelter. Members of the local community were also present.
In Midland Beach, a violent residential revolt erupted on Tuesday night as an enraged crowd filled the streets, blocking a bus transporting migrants to a former senior facility now serving as an emergency shelter.
Ten protesters were arrested, nine face disorderly conduct charges and one man was charged with assaulting a police officer.
One of those protesters, Scott Lobaido, shared his perspective Wednesday during an interview on NewsNation’s “On Balance with Leland Vittert.”
“This is bull and it’s gonna stop,” Lobaido said. “Staten Island is the ground zero that is gonna make it stop because we’re gonna be out in the street every night peacefully.”
New York Mayor Eric Adams warned protesters that violence against the police or migrants wouldn’t be tolerated.
“That is not who we are as a city. We’re 8.3 million people that are tolerant and acceptable,” Adams said.
There have been previous loud protests against the placement of migrants on Staten Island in recent weeks, but Tuesday marked the first instance of violence.
This comes as the Biden administration announced new measures to tackle New York City’s migrant crisis. Nearly half a million Venezuelan migrants in the U.S. will now have the opportunity to obtain work permits, valid for 18 months.
Venezuelans residing in the country before July 31 will be granted temporary legal status and be eligible to work 30 days after their application is approved.
It’s a significant victory for the city and other cities struggling to provide resources to migrants. Last April, more than 110,000 migrants passed through the city, with 60,000 currently receiving city services and shelter, incurring substantial costs for the city, amounting to billions.
“What I can say at this time is I felt he is listening to us,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Hochul was cautious with her statements following a face-to-face meeting with President Joe Biden concerning the substantial influx of migrants.
Adams and other leaders have pushed for access to these temporary permits for several months.
Adams acknowledges that he and Biden disagree on how the federal government is managing the issue. Speaking to NewsNation affiliate WPIX, Adams stressed the city needs more support.
“I don’t search through a thesaurus to find a politically correct way of saying you’re hurting me, you’re hurting my city if that’s what someone is doing,” Adams said.
Adams expressed hope that the White House would consider extending this status to other asylum seekers.