NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — A judge blocked former St. John Villa Academy on Staten Island from being used as a migrant shelter on Tuesday.
The shelter on Staten Island has been a focal point for protests, with residents voicing that such a facility is unsustainable in the community.
The temporary closure order by Judge Wayne Ozzi comes following a lawsuit filed by local politicians including Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, who claimed the shelter disrupted the area.
“Finally, some common sense,” Fossella said in a statement sent out on Tuesday. “This decision is a victory for the residents of Arrochar and, frankly, all Staten Islanders. We believe the City acted improperly in placing a migrant shelter within the heart of Arrochar, a low-density residential community and across the street from a Pre-K-12 school.”
New York City’s ongoing migrant crisis escalates as the city continues to operate over 200 makeshift shelters across locations trying to sustain over 116,000 asylum seekers that have arrived in the city since last spring.
Several tense protests in the past weeks have taken place at the location and dozens of protesters rallied outside the Island Shores Senior Center on Staten Island last week.
The ruling orders the immediate removal of asylum seekers from the facility.
Mayor Eric Adams is challenging the judge's decision.
“We are taking steps to immediately appeal this ruling, which we believe is incorrect in key respects and which threatens to disrupt efforts to manage this national humanitarian crisis. Instances like this underscore the urgent need for a broader state and national solution, as we've emphasized repeatedly," the city’s spokesperson said.
The former school facilities are estimated to shelter about 100 asylum seekers and can accommodate up to 300.