A group of Staten Island residents vehemently protested the arrival of an MTA bus carrying illegal immigrants, resulting in multiple arrests late Tuesday night.
The bus, which was heading to a newly transformed shelter in a former senior assisted living facility, became the center of attention after residents blocked its path, according to The New York Post.
Tuesday’s demonstration is just one of the many challenges New York City has faced as over 100,000 migrants have found their way to the city since last year.
The protestors’ actions reportedly disrupted traffic shortly before 10 p.m. Video posted on YouTube by The New York Post showed protestors shouting, “You’re not welcome!” and “You are illegal!” while others carried banners and chanted patriotic slogans like “USA! USA! USA!” in opposition to the newcomers.
“The crowd swelled to a capacity, leading to disorderly and combative individuals confronting both police and the arriving bus which transported a group of migrants to be housed at the location,” the New York Police Department said in its statement, according to The Hill.
While The New York Post reported that no physical altercations between the protestors and the migrants or bus personnel were recorded, as a result of Tuesday’s protest, ten individuals were apprehended by the police.
Nine received summonses for disorderly behavior, and Vadim Belyakov, a 48-year-old male, faces charges for allegedly assaulting a police officer during an arrest.
Mayor Eric Adams later addressed Tuesday’s upheaval, commenting on NY1 about the “ugly display” by a fraction of New Yorkers. He said the small group does not reflect the broader city sentiment.
“We have 8.3 million New Yorkers. So, if the numerical minority decide to use hateful terms and hateful words — that is not a reflection of who the city is,” he told FOX5.
Adams staunchly opposed any violent actions, stating, “We’ll manage this crisis, but we’re not going to do it with violence.”
However, not everyone saw the protest in the same light as Adams. Sal Monforte, a local living close to the shelter, argued that the police’s arrival transformed a peaceful protest into chaos.
Refuting the necessity of some arrests, he highlighted the massive police presence, suggesting it was disproportionate to the number of protestors.
“People were getting arrested for no reason,” Monforte told The New York Post. “The ten people that got arrested last night should never have gotten arrested.”
The recent tensions in New York City come as officials consider reducing the number of days a migrant can stay in New York City shelters, with the duration possibly being slashed from 60 days to 30 days.
New York Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul reportedly discussed the migrant crisis with President Joe Biden during his recent visit to the state. Meanwhile, Adams, who has not yet met with the president, emphasized the urgent need for a “decompression strategy” and funding to adequately address the illegal immigrant crisis.
This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.