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Harlem residents express anger, betrayal over migrant crisis: 'They snuck them in with no transparency'

Harlem residents are criticizing New York City Mayor Adams after plans were revealed to convert abandoned luxury apartments into a shelter for illegal migrants.

Harlem residents criticized New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday after plans were revealed to convert an abandoned luxury apartment complex into a shelter for illegal migrants

Adams turned up unannounced at a community meeting in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood Thursday where locals were gathering to discuss rumors that the building on the corner of 130th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. was quietly being prepared for immigrants, according to CBS News. 

During the meeting, Adams told residents that he did not agree with moving illegal migrants into a building when the local residents have needs that have not been met. 


"I told the team, 'Find out what's going on here,'" Adams said. "We're not moving folks into a brand-new building when you have long-term needs in a community. That's not going to happen."

"You will not have migrants and asylum seekers in that property," he said. 

"They snuck them in here with no transparency," Tiffany, a Harlem resident, told Fox News, of the city administration's efforts to place migrants in the city.

"We see bunk beds being moved in. What's going on? And no one was aware that this was happening. No one," she said. 

"Of course they're upset, Harlem resident Ruth McDaniels said. "They're outraged. They've been overlooked for so long." 

"How do you think you would feel if you have a brand new luxury building, as they're describing it, and people are living sometimes two or three generations in one apartment, and now you don't even want to give it to them, you want to bring outsiders in. What does that look like? You have to take care of the residents that are already there," she said. 

Gilda Dawn Gillim said that "one in four people of color in New York City that are rent burdened. In central Harlem alone, that is 44% of people who are rent burdened, which means that a third of their income goes to rent." 

"In our community, we see our neighbors being displaced, we see our friends and our families being displaced because they cannot afford rent," she said, adding that she is currently having a "healthy conversation" with Adams and other city officials about how to "recitify" the problem of moving illegal immigrants into local housing.


"Up here, we have no say so" as to illegal migrants coming into their community, Leslie Johnson said. 

"This is a pigeonhole," McDaniels said. "This is a sign to this mayor. Right now your people are looking at you. You have an obligation to your own Black community to make sure that we have our needs met. Every other demographic takes care of their community: Chinese, Italian, Jewish. When it comes to communities of color, specifically Black, it seems as though they get paralyzed. You have to speak to the narrative. We put you in position to help us. This will definitely affect any elections going forward." 

The building was first advertised as luxury housing with a swimming pool, but it has been empty for around a decade after its developers defaulted on loans, the outlet reports. It was built in 2007 and has 35 units, city records show. 

Fox News' Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.

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