Borough President Vito Fossella gathered in a bipartisan show of support with his fellow elected officials along with the residents of Arrochar and community activists, to commend the decision by State Supreme Court Justice Wayne Ozzi to grant a preliminary injunction to bar the use of the former St. John Villa Academy as a migrant shelter.
“We commend the Honorable State Supreme Court Justice Wayne Ozzi for his decision in favor of our lawsuit,” said Borough President Fossella. “This decision is a victory for the residents of Arrochar and, frankly, all Staten Islanders. We believe the city acted improperly in placing a migrant shelter within the heart of Arrochar, a low-density residential community and across the street from a Pre-K-12 school. It is refreshing to know that there are jurists in our system, like Judge Ozzi, who understands our concerns with having migrant shelters placed within residential areas.”
Borough President Fossella read Judge Ozzi’s ruling in part which said the “virtual flood of asylum seekers” would fill two Yankee Stadiums and is equal to one-fifth of Staten Island’s population.
Shortly after the ruling by Judge Ozzi, the administration of Mayor Eric Adams announced their intention to appeal.
“We are disappointed to hear that the city plans to appeal Judge Ozzi’s decision in the St. John Villa lawsuit,” said Borough President Fossella in a statement. “We hope the city sees this as an opportunity to change their direction in handling the migrants. As the ruling clearly states, there is no solid foundation for the current implementation of the right-to-shelter consent decree. First off, it is not a law, secondly, it is not in the constitution, and lastly, it is a recipe for financial disaster. We would hope that the city sees this as an opportunity to pivot instead of digging a bigger hole.”