New York City, NY

Row Hotel Housing Migrants Has Become a "Free for All" According to Former Employee

Anne Spollen
The Row Hotel is being abused by its current inhabitants.Photo byVojtech BruzekonUnsplash

A former employee of the Row Hotel in New York City, Mr. Carlos Arellano, has made claims that the hotel is rife with drugs, inappropriate behaviors, and violence now that it has become one of the city's major housing units for migrants. In his words, the hotel is a "free for all," with its pricey rooms being trashed. Many of the hotel's asylum-seekers congregate on the sidewalk outside the hotel, which is near Broadway and Times Square.

Some of the migrants have been accused of smoking marijuana, drinking, becoming intimate in the stairwells, and fighting, according to claims made by several of the hotel's employees. The hotel is no longer open to guests and exclusively houses migrants awaiting immigration hearings.

Arellano points to one incident where he claims to have found a ten-year-old girl who had been left drunk in her hotel room with her parents nowhere around.

"Every day, we find about ten kids alone in their hotel rooms, either drinking or doing drugs. Weapons will be in the room. But we're not allowed to go in there. We're not allowed to take anything from them. It's basically a free-for-all in this hotel," he told Fox News.

"Just a lot of people who are very there, they don't appreciate what they have. And they come here with the mindset of the way they live back at their home country, and they think there's no rules or no laws to be followed here," he said.

Incidents involving children are common. The hotel staff can do little about the situations, and they have difficulty identifying the children's parents due to false documents.

"We find fake passports, fake Social Security cards, all kinds of fake documents in this hotel every day," he said.

"If they are kicked out of the hotel, they get sent to a processing center at Port Authority where they get given a second hotel," Arellano claimed. 

"So, say a husband decides to beat his wife up. He will get kicked out, and they will just process him into a single men's hotel. So if you break the law, it's not 'We're going to report it to the proper authorities.' It's 'Let's give you a second or third hotel room, and you still stay in the city."

‘Everything from doctors visits to doctors visits is paid for. Car seats, cribs for newborns. There’s at least 2-3 babies a week being born at this hotel. The migrants have destroyed the rooms. Housekeeping is there all week. They’ll clean it and by the end of the night it's kids getting drunk together. There’s multiple guns too. This hotel was meant to be a family hotel," Arellano claimed. 

The New York Post obtained a memo In from the New York City Office of Management, showing that the city will spend an estimated $4.2 billion on costs related to migrants and asylum seekers through June 30, 2023, and the end of fiscal year 2024.

At the hotel reported in this article, The Row, the cost to the taxpayers is around $650,000 per night to house the migrants, at a daily cost of around $500 per night, per room. 

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Second generation native Staten Islander, writer following the migrant crisis, urban issues, lifestyle topics, human interest, current events, and stories that resonate. Published novelist and essayist.

Staten Island, NY

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