NEW YORK (PIX11) — Several people were arrested after protests turned violent outside Gracie Mansion Sunday afternoon.
New Yorkers clashed over what they believe is the best solution for addressing New York City’s migrant crisis. Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa said Mayor Eric Adams should house asylum seekers at Gracie Mansion after the mayor himself floated the idea in June.
The protests turned violent, with heated clashes between those who support the asylum seekers and those who do not. Several people were taken into custody, including Sliwa, marking his 81st arrest.
Sliwa’s solution to the city’s migrant problem: take advantage of Riker’s Island.
“There’s plenty of space, there’s empty buildings one way in, one way out, they stay there for six months. They get vetted. They get their medical vaccines. And then they can go and get jobs,” said Sliwa.
Counterprotesters want the migrants viewed as people, no different from anyone else.
“We are all immigrants. Our ancestors, everyone come from immigrant families and immigrant backgrounds. And it’s immigrants who built this country,” said Ann Shirazi, a counterprotester.
Adams’ office issued a statement in response, saying in part:
“…New York City has been left largely alone to deal with a national crisis that demands difficult decision-making. We have opened 206 sites, including 15 large-scale humanitarian relief centers, and are constantly searching for new places to provide asylum seekers with the shelter they are asking for. But let’s be clear: The sites we are now finding are the only options left. This situation demands a broader state and national solution.”Mayor Eric Adams’ office
A spokesperson for the mayor said they’ve looked at more than 3,000 sites to house migrants and that all options – including Rikers – are on the table.