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Hundreds protest plans for asylum seeker shelter on Staten Island

Community protests opening of asylum seeker shelter in Staten Island
Community protests opening of asylum seeker shelter in Staten Island 00:21

NEW YORK -- Hundreds of people gathered on Staten Island on Wednesday to protest the opening of a new shelter for asylum seekers.

The rally was held outside the former St. John Villa Academy in Arrochar, which will soon house single women and adult families.

A spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams sent CBS New York the following statement:

"As we have emphasized repeatedly, with more than 100,000 asylum seekers that have come through our intake system since spring 2022 and hundreds more continuing to arrive in our city asking for shelter daily, New York City has been left largely alone to deal with a national crisis that demands difficult and swift decision-making. We have opened 206 sites, including 15 large-scale humanitarian relief centers, and are constantly searching for new places to give asylum seekers a place to rest their heads. Most recently, we located the vacant St. John Villa Academy to serve as one of our respite sites for single women and adult families. We understand community concerns and want to assure them that we are working to ensure the site is well-managed. While New York City is leading the nation in welcoming asylum seekers, make no mistake, we cannot continue to do this alone. This crisis demands a broader national solution."

In the last year, more than 101,0000 asylum seekers have come to New York; the city says more than half -- 58,000 -- are still in its care.

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