(NewsNation) — For days, a group of migrants has been choosing to sleep outside in the cold rather than utilize a new shelter at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in New York City.
One of the reasons the migrants are refusing to move is the location. Central Manhattan is an active and easy to get to area. It’s a five-minute walk from a subway station that can take you anywhere in the city.
The migrants say the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, which is in an old industrial area, is too isolated and will prevent them from continuing to work or build a community.
“I think people are going to stay here as long as it takes to get a decent shelter in New York City,” said activist Jose Carlos. “If you are an asylum seeker the state should be able to give you your rights but also dignified conditions.”
Commissioner Manuel Castro, the head of immigrant affairs, addressed the concerns of these migrant men who were asked to leave the Watson Hotel to make room for women and children.
“It’s temperature control, they’ll have access to food, they have access to all kinds of services,” Castro said. “In fact, they have access to free ferry and bus services that will take them to transportation.”
The city is growing frustrated with what they say is “misinformation.”
Photos and videos of the new shelter show 1,000 beds side-by-side.
This is in contrast to the men calling the conditions “prison-like.”
“I came here when I heard the rumors that it was too cold,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “My brother here has on shorts. It’s warm inside. About food not being there: we have healthy food inside. Snacks. We just need to stop the anxiety. These men want to work want to pursue the American dream. We are thankful to the people of New York City.”
The city says they are providing transportation from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to Midtown Manhattan.
Comissioner Castro said they can use other services or leave.
“The initial reports that asylum seekers heard was that we were setting up detention centers,” Castro said. “Again, no one’s being detained, forcibly moved. They have the choice to go to a regular homeless services system or to continue using the hertz.”