By Colonel (Ret) Thomas P. Sullivan
In my 30 years of military service, and fighting for this nation, I’ve learned that when encountered with a crisis, you must act quickly and decisively. Our leaders, unfortunately, don’t feel the same way.
Over the past year, our city and our state have been embroiled in a migrant crisis. By the Mayor’s own estimates, over ten thousand migrants have entered New York City each month since this crisis started. Our Mayor has even admitted that “this issue will destroy New York City.” Instead of calling for the end of the bussing of migrants or suspending New York’s status as a sanctuary city and state, our Mayor and our Governor have instead pushed for building shelters, which to say the least, will do nothing to solve the root of the issue.
Knowing that there would be immense community backlash, our Mayor and Governor covertly pushed for designating Floyd Bennett Field as a migrant camp location. By the time it was announced, the twenty-one million dollar deal was all but signed. The underhandedness of this whole ordeal shows the utter disregard they have for our community.
At this critical juncture in our city’s future, it’s important to ask, what will happen next? Once the migrants are here, what next? Will the city be building hundreds of thousands of apartment units to permanently house them, or will the camps be permanent fixtures of our communities? If our leaders do have an answer to this question, don’t expect them to tell you.
With ten thousand migrants entering our city every month, we must also ask, what happens once the shelters fill up? What happens when the Mayor’s and the Governor’s Manhattan donors tell them that their neighborhoods are too crowded. Eventually, they are going to have to build more shelters. Considering the ease they had in putting a shelter in the Gateway National Recreation Area, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them put more shelters there. By next summer, we may very well have migrant camps at Riis Park and Fort Tilden.
If something like this upsets you, it should. Our public leaders deliberately kept us in the dark until the very last minute. These shelters were placed in our backyards without our consent, so the least we can do is take the fight to them. As I said at the rally last week, instead of protesting at Floyd Bennett Field, we must take the protests to their offices. Perhaps, once we are face to face with our elected officials, they will finally listen to what we have to say.