A Staten Island man got so sick of seeing migrants sent to a shelter in his own community that he put up a loudspeaker and a sign to discourage them from staying.
Having previously voiced his disapproval of the migrant shelter that was established in his neighborhood inside a former Catholic high school, Scott Herkert has now intensified his resistance to the divisive policy.
The refugees are informed over the loudspeaker that the shelter is infested with rats and bugs and that they are being misled. Six different languages are used to record the messages.
The message says, “This building contains mold and will be unsafe for you! They’re lying to you! People should not be in this building. People want you to return to New York City. There is no safety for immigrants here!”
Herkert also put up a big blue sign on his lawn that said, “NO F%*KIN WAY!”
People of Staten Island have said they don’t like the shelter in different ways, such as by protesting in public and suing the city. Some of the migrants have reacted by refusing to stay at the shelter, whereas others have moved into the old high school despite the resistance of the locals.
Because of this disagreement, the mayor of New York City along with the governor of New York are at odds with each other. The city’s mayor, Eric Adams, has asked other cities in the state to help house migrants. However, the governor, Kathy Hochul, has said that the city is the best place to help the migrants.
One of the immigrants at the shelter talked to the Associated Press about the speakers.
“We have to shut our eyes as well as our ears,” said a woman from Mauritania named Aminetou El Alewai. “We are nice folks. We are not bad people. We left our country because of problems there.”
In a past interview, Herkert stated that local people were not consulted when the choice was made to house refugees there.
“They didn’t ask me if it was what I wanted it.” He explained to WNYW-TV, “I did not ask for it, but it is now in my backyard.”
“Showers and a trash can are what my son can see out of his bedroom. Just the immediate effects. Security is more crucial because, as I mentioned, we have no idea who is crossing the border. They could even be wonderful individuals, but we have no idea,” Herkert continued.
According to a survey conducted in August, most New Yorkers believe that the immigration situation is severe and hold Democratic officials accountable for the unrest caused by the migrant shelters.
According to Adams, up to 100,000 migrants have landed in New York City, and he has warned that the sheer volume of migrants would cause the city to collapse.