A homeowner in Staten Island is reportedly blasting a loud audio recording toward migrants at a nearby shelter, warning of poor living conditions and urging them to return to New York City, according to the New York Post.
“You are being lied to by Mayor Eric Adams. This shelter has 300 cots in one room. You will have no privacy, you will have no showers — you had a hotel room with privacy and a bathroom in New York City,” the audio recording says, the outlet noted.
“Do not get off the bus, tell them you want to go back to your hotel … this shelter has rats and cockroaches, this building has mold and is unsafe for you. You are being lied to, this building is not safe for humans. The community wants you to go back to New York City — immigrants are not safe here,” the recording continues.
The recording, thought up by Newsmax personality and former Independent city comptroller candidate John Tabacco, is being blasted in five languages from the home of Scott Herkert. Heckert’s home is situated next to the former St. John Villa Academy, which is now serving as a migrant shelter, the New York Post reported.
Though the former school has been plagued with sewage overflows, there have been no reports that it has been inundated with mold or pests. Showers at the shelter, however, are outdoors, the outlet noted.
“In my view, the use of legal psychological warfare is fair game,” Tabacco said, after revealing that he came up with the idea after interviewing migrants at the Roosevelt Hotel, which is also serving as a shelter for migrants.
“They were telling me that they were being lied to. They’re being told, ‘Come! We’ve got air-conditioned coach buses for you. They’re going to take you to New York, put you in a nice hotel room and give you a debit card,’ and you know, they thought they made it, the American dream,” Tabacco explained, the NY Post reported.
Tabacco explained that migrants find out through social media, friends and word of mouth that the living conditions are not as glamorous as they are reportedly made to believe. “[T]hey’re going to be sitting inside tents on cots inside these little schools in big rooms with no privacy, 300 cots to a room, with strangers. Going to the bathroom outside, taking showers outside,” Tabacco told the New York Post. (RELATED: Eric Adams Says Migrant Crisis Will ‘Destroy New York City’)
Since Tabacco began playing the message, the shelter — which had housed nearly two dozen migrants at the beginning of September — began losing residents. “At least half a dozen left 10 minutes after we started playing it,” Herkert revealed to the New York Post. “Four or five left two hours later, and then we saw four of them leaving this morning,” he continued.
“Yesterday afternoon when they started playing it, I watched three girls who are coming in, they all stopped. The one with the luggage, she pulled out her phone and started recording the message that was going out. Then she wouldn’t go in, she turned around and got into an Uber and left,” Staten Island resident Carla Mohan told the outlet.
Mohan further claimed that she had friends in Venezuela who told her what they’re hearing is “Come, we have jobs for you!” when that isn’t the case, the outlet noted.
“So they give up everything to come here, and then they find out they’re lied to and that not only can they not get a job, they’re going to be sleeping on cots next to 300 other people, 300 other strangers, or living in tents and moved around,” Mohan stated, arguing that the migrants are being used as political pawns.
“Mayor Adams, our leaders, they’re telling us that we need to be compassionate, and now they’re back-peddling and telling us it’s not sustainable. These are human beings. They’re being lied to just like we are,” Mohan told the New York Post.
Community affairs officers who arrived at the shelter to investigate told Heckert he needed to turn down the recording, which was reportedly blasting at a rock concert decibel level of 117, the New York Post reported.