Migrants use charity money to flee NYC when they can’t find housing

From south of the border to the front of the line.

The city rolled out the red carpet for a group of migrants at the Bellevue Men’s Shelter, who were seen boarding a yellow school bus Thursday bound for a homeless assessment center in Brooklyn.

The 17 migrants were escorted from Manhattan to their next accommodations while carrying identical, brand new black backpacks and clothing that also looked new.

One, Daniel Reyes, said he is from Honduras and has been at the shelter for about a month, having arrived in the US about a year ago. Reyes said eight others — one from Colombia, one from Guatemala and six from Venezuela — turned up at the shelter three days earlier.

“The gangs – not good. They’re coming to the United States,” he said in broken English.

But residents of local shelters in Bellevue complained that the migrants received VIP treatment compared to homeless Americans.

Migrants at the Bellevue Homeless Shelter await transfer to new shelters in Brooklyn on August 11, 2022.
Migrants at the Bellevue Homeless Shelter await transfer to new shelters in Brooklyn on August 11, 2022.
Matthew McDermott

“We’ve all been waiting here and going through this process, and let me tell you, you’re getting everything very quickly,” said Ronald Francois, 55, a Queens Navy veteran. “They got more in four or five days than I got in 29! They push us aside.”

For some asylum seekers, preferential treatment was not enough. Four people who dared to hike as far as the US-Mexico border were so tired of waiting for beds in New York City that they used donation funds to travel to Washington, DC, according to The Post experienced.

The unidentified men arrived in the Big Apple within the past three weeks and went to the city-operated Bellevue Men’s Shelter in Manhattan’s Kips Bay, which also serves as a reception center for the Department of Homeless Services, sources said.

“They were either turned away or confused by the situation because there were a lot of people waiting to be admitted that day,” a source said.

Four migrants were so frustrated by overcrowding that they left New York for Washington, DC.
Four migrants were so frustrated by overcrowding that they left New York for Washington, DC.
Matthew McDermott

The men – who don’t speak English – returned to the shelter “a couple of times” during about two and a half days in town, but “ultimately decided to go to Washington,” the source said.

They had spent a night in the nation’s capital while traveling to New York, and they used $50 gift cards they received from Catholic charities to pay for their bus rides there, the source said.

The Post reported exclusively this week that City Hall is scrambling to open a special migrant reception center in Midtown by Monday with enough space for 600 families.

Mayor Adams announced last month that the city’s housing system was overwhelmed by migrants, some of whom the Post told the Post, were being ushered into the city by immigration officials in the Biden administration in Texas.

The Department of Homeless Services did not respond to a request for comment.

‘Forced’ busing?

Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began sending busloads of migrants into the city to protest what he called President Biden’s “irresponsible open borders policy.”

Since Friday, at least 160 migrants have arrived in five Abbott-chartered buses, 92 of whom were dropped off outside the Port Authority bus station within about 45 minutes on Wednesday morning.

Adams claimed on Sunday that Abbott reluctantly sent some migrants to New York.

“Some of the families are on the bus who wanted to go to other places and they weren’t allowed to,” he said. “They were forced onto the bus.”

At least 160 migrants from Texas have arrived in New York City since Friday on buses chartered by Gov. Greg Abbott.
At least 160 migrants from Texas have arrived in New York City since Friday on buses chartered by Gov. Greg Abbott.
Matthew McDermott

Abbott’s office has said all migrants will voluntarily sign waivers before being put on buses.

The Post was blocked Thursday from questioning migrants at the Bellevue Men’s Shelter about Adams’ allegations. Three uniformed officers from the city’s homeless service ordered a reporter off the sidewalk in what appeared to be a manifestly illegal act.

“If you need to speak to our customers, call 43 Beaver St., 17th floor!” said one officer.

The 17 migrants prepare to leave the Bellevue men's shelter on a bus.
The 17 migrants prepare to leave the Bellevue men’s shelter on a bus.
Matthew McDermott

At that point, two migrants from Venezuela who arrived on Wednesday on the Abbott-chartered bus – and agreed to be interviewed – became scared and retreated to the shelter.

“Any help is a gift from heaven”

Also Thursday, two more buses chartered by Abbott departed Del Rio, Texas en route to Washington, DC. It was unclear if the buses would continue to New York City like others.

Javier, 25, a migrant from Venezuela, told the Post he was getting on the first bus hoping to get to the Big Apple, where he said a friend lives.

“I’m much closer to New York in Washington than I am here,” he said. “I heard that there is a place where you can stay for some time until you get on your feet financially.”

Javier said he was penniless after being robbed and forced to pay bribes to officials during his trip to the US, and he called the free bus ride “a blessing because I don’t have any money to keep going”.

Daniel Reyes fled Honduras a year ago because of gangs and has been living at Bellevue for a month.
Daniel Reyes fled Honduras a year ago because of gangs and has been living at Bellevue for a month.
Matthew McDermott

“Any help I can get is a godsend,” he added.

Reyes said eight migrants from Texas had arrived at the shelter just three days earlier.
Reyes said eight migrants from Texas had arrived at the shelter just three days earlier.
Matthew McDermott

Other migrants interviewed by The Post in San Antonio, Texas, said they also hoped to make it to New York City.

“The only thing I want right now is to stay in a place where I can stay for at least a week so I can work and earn some money to find a place to stay for my family,” Cesar Sandoval said Guerrero, 26.

Guerrero said he, his wife and their children, ages 3 and 4, left Venezuela on June 19 because he could not afford to live on his wages as a member of the National Guard and was ordered to take bribes to blackmail from his neighbors to make ends meet.

Home resident Ronald Francois complained that the newly arrived migrants were treated better than American homeless people.
Home resident Ronald Francois complained that the newly arrived migrants were treated better than American homeless people.
Matthew McDermott

A short time later, 17 migrants emerged and boarded a yellow school bus that appeared to be headed for a homeless assessment center in Brooklyn.

The men were all wearing identical brand new black backpacks and clothes that also looked new.

One, Daniel Reyes, said he is from Honduras and has been at the shelter for about a month, having arrived in the US about a year ago.

Reyes said eight others — one from Colombia, one from Guatemala and six from Venezuela — turned up at the shelter three days earlier, apparently after being transported on an Abbott bus.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/11/migrants-use-charity-cash-to-flee-nyc-when-they-cant-get-into-shelter/ Migrants use charity money to flee NYC when they can’t find housing

JACLYN DIAZ

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