Jamiesfeast – A church in New York City has altered its plans to provide assistance in housing migrants amid the ongoing crisis due to “disturbing threats” from anti-immigrant groups and concerns about potential legal action from local politicians.
Saint John’s Episcopal Church on Staten Island, which had recently announced that it would provide approximately fifty-seven beds for asylum seekers, has now made the decision to close its doors.
The church had announced its desire to use the ground floor of a housing complex for the elderly, which is located next to its Bay Street location. Political representatives for the Staten Island region swiftly objected to the proposal, citing zoning concerns and the need to “preserve the spaces for our seniors.”
A Letter By The Politicians
Representative Nicole Malliotakis, Borough President Vito Fossella, District Attorney Michael McMahon, Assemblyman Sam Pirozzolo, State Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton, and Councilwoman Kamillah Hanks came together on January 19 to express their concerns. They wrote a letter urging Tuell and the church to reconsider their current approach.
The letter concludes.
Your senior residents and the community, who are entitled to a shared elderly daycare center that is open to all residents, are slapped in the face by the proposed plan to house over 50+ immigrants between the ages of twenty-two and twenty-five.
To make sure you honor the moral and contractual commitments you made to these seniors and our community, we will take all available legal actions.
Staten Island authorities and neighbors have consistently opposed attempts to build migrant shelters. Last October, hundreds of demonstrators held several protests outside a former Catholic high school.