This week, the Upper West Side saw a police crackdown on unauthorized scooters, leading to the impoundment of several vehicles. However, migrants who are unable to obtain work permits use these motorized bikes to get around.
On Thursday, police seized unlicensed mopeds on West 71st and Broadway as their owners—many of whom are delivery drivers—watched.
Four mopeds, nine bicycles, one motorcycle, and a woman who slapped a police officer as her bike was being carried away were all seized.
The Stratford Arms Hotel, which is now a migrant shelter, is only a few feet away from the incident.
In front of the Roosevelt Hotel, a Midtown migrant shelter, there is a lengthy row of unregistered motorbikes.
Mostly Migrants Depend On Food Delivery Jobs
An undocumented immigrant from Venezuela staying in the hotel told local news that many migrants depend on food delivery employment to support their families—in his instance, a wife and three young children—without having the proper documentation or work permits. Although a license is not necessary for food delivery work, the employee must be able to move quickly around the city.
Even while some west side neighbors are happy the police took action after receiving complaints and seized the bikes, one said to local news:
They are here, there, and everywhere, and we are so terrified that one day I'm going to get hurt.
Statements And Efforts From The City Council
Recent statements from the City Council, Mayor Eric Adams, and Governor Hochul all indicate that they are urging the federal government to speed up the issuance of work authorization permits. The mayor claims that there are thousands of open positions in the city.
In response, the Biden administration stated that it is collaborating with the city and state this month to simplify the application process for qualified migrants seeking employment.
However, hundreds of migrants arrive in New York City every day, which may result in an increase in the number of illicit bikes they use to smuggle goods.