Asylum-seeking migrant families provided housing at Bayside’s Anchor Inn

Photo by Ethan Marshall

Approximately one month after being provided with housing at Bayside’s Anchor Inn motel, the 122 male migrants were transferred to a new shelter in Staten Island on May 14 in order to make room for migrant families. Among those sent to Staten Island were six migrants who had already secured jobs in the Bayside area.

Meanwhile, Councilwoman Vickie Paladino, whose district includes the Anchor Inn, said she had not been notified by City Hall about the migrants being moved until a little before 2 p.m. on May 14. Paladino also claimed that the city employees who had been running the hotel shelter had not been made aware either. The men had already begun to move out of the hotel by 4 p.m. that same day. By the following morning, all 122 had moved to Staten Island.

Paladino had also claimed that her office received three calls from the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) on May 16. They had attempted to let her know about the situation at Anchor Inn, but by then it had already occurred and she had already been made aware. By the afternoon of May 17, the migrant families had all moved into the Anchor Inn, with the hotel being full.

A “No vacancies” sign hangs on the door of the Anchor Inn (Photo by Ethan Marshall)

Paladino cited city restrictions as being the cause for moving the men elsewhere. She said that these restrictions do not allow for different groups of people to live within the same shelter at the same time. Since families were being brought in, the men were forced to live at another shelter.

During a May 18 appearance  on “Fox and Friends,” Paladino said Mayor Eric Adams should start turning away the buses of migrants being shipped all the way up to New York City. She expressed concern over how the city may look within the next few months if it keeps taking in more migrants.

“What we’re seeing right now at City Hall is a little bit of weakness,” Paladino said. “We need our mayor now to stand up to the federal government and turn these buses away.”

When approached on the matter, a spokesperson for New York City’s Department of Social Services (DSS) provided a statement on the work that the department has been doing on a citywide level to accommodate these migrant families.

Our incredible teams continue to work around the clock and at an unprecedented speed and scale, to procure emergency shelter capacity,” the DSS spokesperson said. “We are leaving no stone unturned as part of our emergency response and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to ensure that we are meeting the needs of every asylum seeker who comes to us seeking shelter. We are providing safe shelter, food and supports, with adequate accommodations and provisions for each family and individual, while also connecting them to dedicated City resources and initiatives as part of a strongly coordinated interagency response.”

According to DSS, as of May 14, the department had been caring for almost 41,000 asylum-seekers across the city. DSS notes that there are also asylum-seekers within the city who are staying with families, friends and networks after being connected. Approximately 150 emergency sites have been opened up to care for them. This also includes at least eight Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRCs).

Management for the Anchor Inn declined to provide comment on the matter when contacted by QNS.

QNS has reached out to City Hall for additional comment and is waiting for a response.