Homeless Veterans Replaced by Illegal Immigrants at Hotel in NY Suburb

Homeless Veterans Replaced by Illegal Immigrants at Hotel in NY Suburb
Newly arrived illegal immigrants wait in a holding area at the Port Authority bus terminal before being sent off to area shelters and hotels in New York City on May 15, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

To make room for illegal immigrants transported from New York City, 15 homeless military veterans were moved from their housing at a hotel in New York state’s Hudson River Valley region.

The veterans, who were staying at The Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh, a city in Orange County about 70 miles north of New York, were relocated to another lodging in the Hudson Valley. The Crossroads Hotel is a franchisee of the international Choice Hotels.

Illegal immigrants began arriving at the hotel on May 11.

A Growing Crisis

New York, which is a sanctuary city, has seen the arrival of more than 60,000 illegal immigrants over the past year.

The displacement of the veterans is encompassed in the broader public policy of Mayor Eric Adams. With the illegal immigrant crisis growing and the city’s human services infrastructure overwhelmed, immigrants are being sent to communities outside the city, which is already dealing with a housing shortage.

Literacy Partners Annual Gala
Eric Adams, mayor of New York, speaks at the Literacy Partners 2023 Gala at Cipriani South Street in New York on May 1, 2023. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Literacy Partners)

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus, and the Executive of Rockland County, Ed Day, have opposed immigrants being put up in hotels in their jurisdictions, and both have declared states of emergency in their counties.

Paying the lodging bill for the veterans was the Yerik Israel Toney Foundation (YIT Foundation), a New York-based nonprofit that raises awareness and provides support for premature babies and their families and assistance for homeless and low-income military veterans.

The YIT Foundation paid The Crossroads Hotel $88 per room daily to house the veterans. While it is not clear what New York City is paying per room daily for the immigrants at The Crossroads Hotel, for the first full week from Sept. 3–9 to book a room the starting per night price is listed at $122.

As reported in the New York Post at the end of January, New York City had allotted between $115 and $190 to pay for a nightly room rate to lodge immigrants.

Ongoing Controversy and Drama

On May 12  Sharon Toney-Finch, founder and chairman of the YIT Foundation, made public that vets had to move to make room for immigrants.

Attempts by The Epoch Times to reach The Crossroads Hotel have not been successful.

In response to an inquiry from The Epoch Times, Choice Hotels wrote: “We have reached out to all impacted guests to assist with their accommodation needs. The hotel is independently owned and operated, and we are no longer sending guests there.

“Regarding your specific inquiry, we have been unable to identify whether any impacted guests are veterans as it does not appear that rooms were booked with any relevant identifying designation.”

New York Assemblyman Brian Maher, who lives in and represents part of Orange County, opposes Mayor Adams sending immigrants to communities outside the city.

“These veterans were given one day’s notice to clear out,” said Maher, a U.S. Navy reservist and leading public advocate for veterans, in an interview with The Epoch Times. “Hotel staff spoke to the veterans and the veterans were told that they were getting an incoming group, a large group, which ended up being migrants.”

Maher, who has worked closely in support of the YIT Foundation for several years, said that after Toney-Finch spoke out about the veterans being displaced by immigrants, she received “very hateful messages and emails from folks, some who just, you know, come in defense of the asylum seekers and others who just really don’t appreciate the veterans in our community.”

Orange and Rockland Elected Officials Speak

Orange County Legislator Genesis Ramos, a life-long resident of Newburgh and the daughter of immigrants from Honduras, was among a group outside The Crossroads Hotel on May 11, to welcome and support the immigrants arriving that day.

Ramos said she tries to understand both sides of the ongoing issue, even as she is a steadfast and staunch backer of immigrants seeking asylum.

“I don’t disagree that there was a breakdown in communication and logistical planning between New York City and Orange County, and that as elected officials we have a responsibility to inform constituents to the best of our ability, and when we don’t have the facts it can cause angst and fear of the unknown,” Ramos told The Epoch Times.

“What I disagree with is the tone that was set by our executive here in Orange County … It was a xenophobic tone, and throughout the communities we saw it play out on social media.

“And we lived it, the small group of us at the hotel that day. We were being recorded, and people were driving by and flipping us off, screaming ‘go back to your country’ … and [expletive] Mexicans. It was disgusting, the obscenities and racism that was spewed.”

Rockland County Executive Ed Day sent a statement to The Epoch Times on the policy of sending immigrants to The Crossroads Hotel and forcing veterans to relocate.

“The City of New York has not only broken local and state laws, violated a state of emergency, and lied continuously, but Mayor Eric Adams has also proven to have zero consideration for our military heroes,” said Day, who has had high-profile verbal battles with the New York City mayor.

“As a military dad, I was disgusted to learn the mayor’s highly criticized plan booted 20 military veterans being housed at The Crossroads Hotel in Orange County.

“These men and women laid their lives on the line for our freedoms, and the treatment they suffered at the hands of the City of New York and Mayor Eric Adams is disrespectful and horribly insulting to our past, present, and future military heroes.”

From The Epoch Times

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