Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., is calling on New York City to drop any charges against people who were protesting expected plans for a nursing home in her district to be converted into an emergency migrant shelter.
She accused Democratic Mayor Eric Adams of intentionally treating those demonstrators more harshly than left-wing protesters during the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter movement and said the migrant facility reportedly being set up in Staten Island places an undue burden on her constituents.
“They’re very frustrated, because [they’re] being subjected to these backwards policies of prioritizing illegal immigrants over taxpaying citizens, so yesterday there was a peaceful protest . . . to express their outrage with the mayor’s decision,” Malliotakis told Fox News Digital in an interview Monday.
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“Arrests were made at the direction of the mayor, obviously. And it’s frustrating, because, you know, the summer of 2020, we had rioters who assaulted police officers, who looted, who created all sorts of disruption, and all their charges were dropped. So I’m calling for equal treatment.”
Fox News Digital asked the mayor’s office for a response to Malliotakis blaming him for the arrests but did not immediately hear back.
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Eight people were arrested on Sunday after roughly 200 arrived to protest, the NYPD told Fox News Digital, over what local officials have said is the conversion of the Island Shores Nursing Home into an emergency shelter. It comes as the city’s infrastructure is buckling under an unprecedented influx of undocumented migrants.
Among those arrested was former GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, who founded crime prevention group the Guardian Angels. A spokesperson for the Deputy Commissioner for Public Affairs told Fox News Digital, “All eight individuals were issued Criminal Court summonses for Disorderly Conduct and released.”
“These individuals did nothing wrong, okay. They walked into the streets, and they were arrested,” Malliotakis said. “So I am calling for those charges to be dropped, but more importantly, I’m calling for the mayor, the president, to listen to what their citizens are actually telling them. This is unsustainable.”
The Staten Island Advance reported recently that the 288-bed nursing home was put up for sale last year, and dozens of residents were told they had to leave.
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“That’s adding insult to injury to the seniors, who paid taxes their whole lives to help build this community, and were pushed aside,” Malliotakis said.
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She added that her constituents are already working to manage the higher cost of living under the Biden administration and were concerned about potentially having to pay even more to subsidize people who came here undocumented.
“They’re trying to keep a roof over their own family’s head, and now they’re expected to pay for housing for individuals who just strolled over the border,” the lawmaker said.
More than 93,000 migrants have arrived in New York City since last spring, the mayor’s office said recently.