They question the mayor’s decision to install an immigrant shelter

Under the banner of freedom, 23-year-old Elvis Gómez Contreras finally arrived in New York after a long and dangerous journey from Venezuela.

“We have to give them things so they don’t take away our lives, and keep going because it’s the only way to get here, but the journey is hard, it’s very, very hard,” explained Gómez Contreras.

“The road is exhausting… we have to be exposed to endure hunger, cold, we have to be willing to go through mud where the swamp reaches your chest, where if you don’t have a union you don’t support yourself from your migrant friends who come with you, you may not leave the jungle,” added Gómez Contreras.

This Friday, Gómez Contreras received the support of several councilors and other elected authorities who claimed for the construction of shelters in the form of tents on Orchard beach.

“The mayor has acted unilaterally, without consulting anyone, and now the city is building some tents in the middle of nowhere, in a flood-prone area, as the cold winter approaches,” said Councilwoman Shahana Hanif.

The councilwomen also question the fact that the construction company in charge of building these tents is the same one that built part of the border wall in the Donald Trump administration.

They also pointed out that the tents are 45 minutes from the port authority bus station, which means a loss of time and efficiency for the city when transporting immigrants to this shelter.

All these questions were asked in the plenary session of the municipal council and they directly questioned the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs.

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“I crossed the border of this country, together with my mother when I was 5 years old and it has been the honor of my life to help new immigrants, to whom together with this administration we are doing everything possible to give them what they need as we would have wanted them to receive us,” said Commissioner Manuel Castro.

“Why, if there were other possibilities, the university dormitories, the hotels, the Yarvis Center, why did we end up choosing tents as if we were a third-world country where there is an immigration crisis that cannot be solved? In this city, in this country, there are a lot of money, there is a lot of money in the government,” said state assemblywoman Catalina Cruz.