Story by Bailee Hill
One New York City hotel staffer sounded the alarm on how illegal immigrants have trashed a once-luxury hotel and turned it into a chaotic “mess” at the expense of American taxpayers.
Row NYC employee Felipe Rodriguez joined “Fox & Friends First” Thursday to discuss how migrants have trashed the rooms and wasted food as he fears the broader impact on community safety.
“It’s a lot different when I joined the row in 2017, it was a great place to work… you came in there was no stress,” Rodriguez told co-host Carley Shimkus. “There was a nice environment where you could associate with the guests and the exchange was pleasant. Now… this is a migrant hotel… We don’t have any guests anymore. They sold the entire hotel from the fourth floor to the 28th floor. It’s all migrants.”
“Some of them are real great people, and they’re looking for the American dream,” he continued. “Unfortunately, the government didn’t vent out just the right people to come into the program and just sent anybody. So we got people who are… getting drunk, using marijuana. They are punching and beating their wives or their girlfriends. We have teenagers running around wild around the hotel, opening the fire exit doors. It’s a mess.”
Rodriguez, who interacts regularly with the migrants, said he is now on disability as he recovers from an injury related to clutter in one of the migrant’s rooms.
But critics are also up in arms over the food waste. Rodriguez unveiled footage and pictures of massive amounts of food the hotel was forced to throw out because the migrants wanted different food.
“I was shocked,” Rodriguez said. “It was mind-boggling, and when I asked some of the guests… they said they [didn’t] like it.”
There are more than 38,000 migrants in New York City with 26,000 currently staying in Big Apple hotel rooms, according to Mayor Eric Adams’ office.
At the Row specifically, it is costing taxpayers around $650,000 per night to house the migrants, ringing in around $500 per night per room.
Despite the trashed hotel rooms and massive food waste, Rodriguez said he also worries about how the current circumstances will affect public safety.
“It is nice to see that we have people that believe in the American dream, and it’s good for them to come here and look for that, but I think that we owe New Yorkers and we owe all citizens the right to make sure that our neighborhoods are safe,” Rodriguez said.
“There is no safety in our job,” he continued. “Security is very shorthanded… we don’t know who’s drunk and who’s going to… do some crazy stuff.”
New York City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R) joined “Fox & Friends” Thursday to discuss the issue at hand, calling for more stringent regulation as it pertains to immigration policy.
“We are stockpiling people, essentially, at hotels who have no other purpose other than to wait for immigration authorities to decide what to do,” Borelli told co-host Steve Doocy. “And all of this is happening while the taxpayers of the city of New York are forced to basically buy and stockpile rooms without any idea of how many people are coming, how long they’re going to be, how long we need to feed them, how long we need to provide them shelter.”
“And in reality, this is just more evidence that perhaps immigration, even with respect to asylum seekers, is better done when it’s regulated and [a] certain number of people are led in at a time, and you happen to know who they are, where they’re going and what their purpose is,” he continued.
With tens of thousands of homeless people in New York City shelters, Borelli insisted the local government focus more on helping house Americans first before placing illegal immigrants in luxury hotels on the taxpayers’ dime.
“When you see these videos and when we hear these stories about how much waste and abuse there is, this should cause alarm bells to ring in Washington, that this is a serious crisis,” Borelli said.