Authorities arrested multiple people — including former GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa — during a raucous rally Wednesday over a newly opened mass “tent city” shelter for migrants in Queens.
Hundreds attended the protest to demand officials close the city’s latest makeshift housing, which opened Tuesday on the grounds of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.
The new emergency site is expected to host about 1,000 adult migrant men as officials struggle to handle the flood of asylum seekers reaching the Big Apple.
Some of the chants from protesters included “No tent city,” “Close the border,” “No migrants” and “America first.”
As a busload of migrants reached the facility Wednesday night, one person was heard yelling, “Bunch of parasites, sorry to say” while others were chanting, “USA!”
During the demonstration, Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, refused authorities’ orders to get out of the middle of the street near the Creedmoor facility and was arrested as another protester waved a Trump 2024 flag in the background.
Sliwa handed off his sign to another protester as officers placed him in handcuffs. He could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday night.
Sliwa’s arrest was not a surprise, though. He vowed on social media prior to the protest that he was ready to be taken into custody as a form of civil disobedience.
The NYPD warned demonstrators via an automated message over a loudspeaker that those blocking traffic would be arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct if they didn’t move.
The NYPD did not immediately have a firm number on how many people were arrested.
The huge emergency site in Queens is being funded by the state and is made up of four structures, including two tents that can sleep close to 1,000 men overall. There is also a dining area, portable showers and toilets on the grounds.
Queens residents previously protested the Creedmoor site after Mayor Eric Adams announced news of its construction late last month. Some locals claim the influx of 1,000 migrants would “destroy our community.”
About 100,000 migrants have arrived in NYC over the past year, leading city officials to call on President Biden and the federal government to provide assistance.