Chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn says the party has received extensive feedback from the 1.4 million-plus Democrats whose communities are affected across the borough by the influx of Caribbean and other migrants, and want equitable aid for them.
“The Brooklyn Democratic Party is consistently communicating with leaders at all levels of government for updates and to relay our constituents’ feedback, including exploring the possibility of equitably spreading out access to migrant housing across Brooklyn from Fort Hamilton to Brooklyn Heights and beyond,” said Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn.
“It is clear that vast existing inequities of shelter placements serving unhoused New Yorkers are being exacerbated by new emergency shelters opening up in our communities that are all too familiar with disproportionately shouldering the responsibility of helping those in need,” she added. “Neighborhoods without migrant shelters are being called to open their communities to ‘spread the love’ by Brooklyn Democrats.
“We acknowledge this vital feedback from Brooklynites who are recommending having migrant shelters in communities from Fort Hamilton Army Base, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Heights, Marine Park, and Manhattan Beach,” she continued. “The Brooklyn Democratic Party is utilizing our members’ feedback by not only recommending using these neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but also similarly expanding to underutilized areas across NYC, the entire State of New York, and other municipalities across the US.
“While everyone deserves fair, equitable, and humane housing, this is a national, unprecedented crisis; requiring federal aid and collaboration at all levels,” said Bichotte Hermelyn, stating that she has been ardently advocating for federal aid with city-wide elected officials, while defending Mayor Adams’ approach to the crisis – including holding press conferences and writing to the Biden Administration for help.
Bichotte Hermelyn said elected officials pushed back on critiques that the mayor is anti-immigrant while calling for federal aid.
“Let’s all come together and support our mayor,” she said during the rally at City Hall. “He’s been doing his darndest.”
54 Democratic lawmakers from across New York City, including Bichotte Hermelyn, recently signed a letter demanding President Biden to do something about the migrant crisis gripping their metropolis.
But while the Brooklyn Democratic Party welcomes the Biden administration’s recent actions to offer nearly 500,000 Venezuelan asylum seekers TPS and work permits, Bichotte Hermelyn said this still leaves three-quarters of NYC’s 60,000 migrants under care unable to legally work and support themselves.
“The federal government must designate the same status to all families arriving from other parts of the world, including African nations,” she said. “The influx exacerbates New York’s existing housing crisis, with nearly 70,000 homeless children and adults already living in shelters city-wide as of January 2023.”