Hundreds of migrants run an illegal open-air market under a highway in New York City New York Post reported on Saturday.
According to the outlet, more than 200 migrants live beneath a section of the Brooklyn-Queen Expressway at Park Avenue and Hall Street.
The area has been transformed into a “mini-city,” the Post reported, where migrants sell goods and services. Some use the area to sell Nike sneakers, others offer haircuts.
The closest shelter in New York City is just a block away, but many said they did not want to stay in the city’s shelter system or that they were evicted after reaching the maximum stay of 30 days. Individuals reported being unable to find permanent housing.
About 3,000 migrants have reached the maximum length of stay in the shelters, but only half have reapplied for a place in the shelters.
A 48-year-old from Ecuador told the Post that he arrived in the country six months ago and moved to the streets after reaching the city’s emergency shelter limit.
“It’s very difficult,” he said. “[The immigration system] has no heart. We are human beings. We have the right to seek opportunities in our lives.”
In July, the municipal sanitation workers and the police the makeshift tent city cleared, but the migrants quickly returned. The outlet noted that the tents have been removed, but asylum seekers are now sleeping in open-air shelters under the highway, with mattresses and tables spread out between parked vehicles.
A 36-year-old Peruvian migrant told the Post in July: “We don’t want to live [in the encampment]”But it’s better than the shelters.” He noted that he regretted coming to the United States after suffering poor living conditions.
“I had a good house in my country,” he continued. “This is terrible – I never thought I would live in a place like this.”
The neighbors are fed up with the unsanitary conditions. Some have even reported seeing migrants carrying weapons. Clinton Hill residents said migrants were drinking and smoking at the nearby children’s playground.
One resident told the Post: “The problem hasn’t gotten better, it’s gotten worse and is only getting worse.”
“I would rather look at the tents. Now it literally looks and smells horrible down there,” he added.
Another neighbor told the outlet, “It smells like urine and trash everywhere, and it’s just sad that the city doesn’t seem to care about the people who live here, who come from here, who pay taxes.”
“New Yorkers seem to be second-class citizens in all this – and that’s the most disturbing thing about it all,” the resident explained.
Do you like Blaze News? Bypass the censorship, sign up for our newsletter and get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. Login here!