(HorizonPost.com) – The former Staten Island private academy that was being used as a shelter for migrants was cleared out on Monday as the 200 migrants staying there were removed days after the Fire Department found multiple serious safety violations, the New York Post reported.
In late September, a judge ordered New York City to remove the migrants staying at St. John Villa Academy in a residential neighborhood of Staten Island, ruling in favor of a group of residents and Staten Island officials who had been fighting the city over the make-shift migrant shelter in their area.
The judge’s decision came after weeks of protests from residents opposed to the city placing a shelter directly across from a girls’ school.
However, Mayor Eric Adams’ office appealed the judge’s decision and the order was stayed. It was only after the subsequent safety inspection from FDNY fire inspectors that the facility was ordered to close and the migrants removed.
As the last of the migrants were boarded onto buses on Monday, a crowd of locals applauded their departure. The migrants were transported to the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan.
Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, who was among the officials to sue for the migrants’ removal, told the New York Post that the shelter never should have been opened. He said the borough is happy that the FDNY “validated all our concerns” and closed the facility.
New York City Council minority leader Joe Borelli told CBS News that the safety violations included stairwells cluttered with belongings and the use of propane heaters which are illegal in New York City.
St. John Villa Academy was only one of the makeshift shelters cited by FDNY fire inspectors.
According to CBS News, five other shelters were also cited safety hazard issues, including two in Manhattan, one in Queens, one in the Bronx, and a second shelter in Staten Island.
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