Migrants use charity cash to flee NYC when they can’t get into shelter

Migrants use charity cash to flee NYC when they can’t get into shelter

Posted For: Willie Wonka

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From south of the border, to the front of the line.

The city rolled out the red carpet for a group of migrants at the Bellevue Men’s Shelter who could be seen on Thursday boarding a yellow school bus headed to a homeless assessment center in Brooklyn.

The 17 migrants were escorted from Manhattan to their next accommodations while carrying identical, brand-new black backpacks and wearing clothing that also appeared new.

One, Daniel Reyes, said he was from Honduras and had been at the shelter for around a month after arriving in the US about a year ago. Reyes said eight others — one from Colombia, one from Guatemala and six from Venezuela — showed up at the shelter three days earlier.

“The gangs — no good. They come to the United States,” he said in broken English.

“We’ve all been here waiting, going through this process, and let me tell you: They’re getting everything real quick,” said Ronald Francois, 55, a Navy veteran from Queens. “They got more in four or five days than I got in 29! They’re brushing us aside.”

The preferential treatment wasn’t enough for some asylum-seekers. Four people who braved trekking to the US-Mexico border and across it got so fed up waiting for beds in New York City that they used charity money to head to Washington, DC, The Post has learned.

The unidentified men arrived in the Big Apple within the past three weeks and went to the city-run Bellevue Men’s Shelter in Manhattan’s Kips Bay, which also serves as an intake center for the Department of Homeless Services, sources said.

“They were either turned away or confused by the situation because there were a lot of people waiting for intake that day,” a source said.

The men — who don’t speak English — returned to the shelter “a few times” during about two and a half days in the city but “ultimately they decided to go to Washington,” the source said.

They had spent a night in the nation’s capital while traveling to New York, and they used $50 gift cards they received from Catholic Charities to pay for their bus fares back there, the source said.

The Post exclusively reported this week that City Hall was scrambling to open a dedicated migrant intake center with enough room to house 600 families in Midtown by Monday.

Mayor Adams last month revealed the city’s shelter system was overloaded by migrants, some of whom told The Post that they were directed to the city by Biden administration immigration officials in Texas.

The Department of Homeless Services didn’t respond to a request for comment.

‘Forced’ busing?

Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott started sending busloads of migrants to the city to protest what he called President Biden’s “irresponsible open-border policies.”

Since Friday, at least 160 migrants have arrived on five buses chartered by Abbott, with 92 dropped off outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal over the course of about 45 minutes Wednesday morning.

On Sunday, Adams alleged that Abbott had sent some migrants to New York unwillingly.

“Some of the families are on the bus that wanted to go to other locations, and they were not allowed to do so,” he said. “They were forced on the bus.”

Abbott’s office has said all the migrants voluntarily sign waivers before being put on the buses.

The Post on Thursday was prevented from interviewing migrants at the Bellevue Men’s Shelter about Adams’ accusation. Three uniformed city Department of Homeless Services officers ordered a reporter off the sidewalk in what appeared to be a blatantly illegal act.

“If you need to talk to our clients, call 43 Beaver St., 17th floor!” one officer said.

At that point, two migrants from Venezuela who arrived on the Abbott-chartered bus Wednesday — and who agreed to be interviewed — got scared and retreated inside the shelter.

‘Any help is a godsend’

Also Thursday, two other Abbott-chartered buses left Del Rio, Texas, en route to Washington, DC. It was unclear if the buses would continue on to New York City, as others have.

Javier, 25, a migrant from Venezuela, told The Post that he was boarding the first bus in hopes of making his way to the Big Apple, where he said a friend was living.

“I’m a lot closer to New York in Washington than I am here,” he said. “I heard there is a shelter where you can stay for some time until you’re able to get on your feet financially.”

Javier said he was penniless after getting robbed and having to pay bribes to officials during his trek to the US, and he called the free bus ride “a blessing because I don’t have money to keep going.”

Daniel Reyes fled Honduras a year ago due to gangs and had been staying at Bellevue for a month.

“Any help that I can get is a godsend,” he added.

Reyes said eight migrants from Texas arrived at the shelter just three days earlier.

Other migrants interviewed by The Post in San Antonio, Texas, said they were also hoping to get to New York City.

“The only thing I want right now is to be able to stay in a shelter where I can stay for at least a week, so I can work and earn a little money to find a place to live for my family,” said Cesar Sandoval Guerrero, 26.

Guerrero said he, his wife and their kids, ages 3 and 4, left Venezuela on June 19 because he couldn’t afford to live on his wages as a national-guard member and was told to extort bribes from his neighbors to make ends meet.

A short time later, 17 migrants came out and got on a yellow school bus that was apparently headed for a homeless assessment center in Brooklyn.

The men were all carrying identical, brand-new black backpacks and wearing clothing that also appeared new.

One, Daniel Reyes, said he was from Honduras and had been at the shelter for around a month after arriving in the US about a year ago.

Reyes said eight others — one from Colombia, one from Guatemala and six from Venezuela — showed up at the shelter three days earlier, apparently after being transported on an Abbott bus.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/11/migrants-use-charity-cash-to-flee-nyc-when-they-cant-get-into-shelter/

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