Borough President Vito Fossella joined his fellow Republicans in blasting the city for its “still of the night deal” to convert the former Island Shores Senior Residence in Midland Beach into a migrant shelter. They also asked for an audit of how much money the city is spending on migrants, a cost which has skyrocketed to a projected $12 billion over the next three years, according to the Independent Budget Office.
He was on a joint phone call with the Department of Homeless Services and Homes for the Homeless -- the nonprofit that owns Island Shores -- for an update on its potential use as a migrant shelter.
“They made it seem as if the agreement was not finalized, no terms, no numbers – and yet they were doing work while we were on the phone,” said Borough President Fossella during a press conference outside of 1111 Father Capodanno Blvd. “So that’s insulting to the 500,000 people on Staten Island. While they’re making these arrangements behind the curtain, we’re asking questions in good faith and we’re trying to get answers in good faith and what happens, they’re sticking them in the still of night.”
He referenced the “legitimate conversations” at the United Nations regarding the border between Russia and the Ukraine, however he said he is more concerned about the border between the United States and Mexico.
“Individuals keep coming from all over the world into Mexico and into the United States and end up right here in Midland Beach or in Arrochar or in Travis or on Tompkins Avenue -- and we’re just supposed to take it,” he said. “We’re the ones that for over a year have been screaming at the loudest voice possible that this policy of inviting individuals in across an open border and then putting them up for free and giving them free food -- and everything that comes with it -- was unstainable. We’re going to keep fighting and keep being the voice of the people who deserve answers today.”