Former employee blows the whistle about conditions and activities inside a trendy Manhattan hotel that now houses migrants.
Former employee Carlos Arellano said that the Row NYC Hotel was a “free-for-all” where drugs, sex, and violence are rampant. The hotel is one of the largest housing areas in the city for migrants.
Arellano described a heartbreaking incident where he said he found a drunken ten-year-old girl in her hotel room, with her parents missing. He said that this was, unfortunately, not an isolated incident.
“We find ten or more kids in their hotel rooms alone, drinking or using drugs. Weapons are likely to be present in the hotel room. We’re not allowed in. We are not allowed to steal anything from them. Arellano: “It’s a free for all.”
The Row was once a popular hotel in the city’s theater district. The hotel has been converted into a migrant hostel for those who have made the journey from the southern border of Mexico to New York City.
Arellano, who no longer works at the Row, shared that during his tenure there, he and the other employees had witnessed trashed rooms and violence on the streets.
“There are a lot of people there who don’t value what they have.” “They come here thinking of how they live in their country and think that there are no rules here or laws to follow,” he said.
Arellano says that incidents involving children, such as the girl who was found drunk in a hotel bedroom, are common. He claimed that hotel staff can’t do much to help, let alone identify the children and their parents.
The employee even said that they are not certain if the parents of the children are their parents because of “fake documents”.
He said, “We find all kinds of fakes in this hotel, including fake Social Security cards and fake passports.”
Arellano said he, along with other former coworkers, felt threatened “every day” while working at The Row.
“Many former coworkers contacted me and were happy that I conducted the interview.” “They say this place should be closed down.” “They fear for their lives every day as much as I do,” said he.
Arellano stated that despite the dangers of the activity, there are very few consequences. If any, they are often reprocessed, and the migrants are sent to another hotel or housing center.
Arellano said that if they were kicked out of a hotel, they would be sent to Port Authority’s processing center where they would get a second hotel.
“Let’s say that a husband decides he will beat up his wife. He’ll be kicked out and they’ll just put him in a single-man hotel. If you break the law, we won’t report it to the appropriate authorities. “Let’s offer you a second, third, or even fourth hotel room and you can still stay in town.”
According to a memo released by the New York City Office of Management and reported by The New York Post, through June 30th, 2023, and the end of the fiscal year 2024, the city is expected to spend approximately $4.2 billion in costs associated with migrants and asylum seekers.
The Row, in particular, costs taxpayers about $650,000 per day to house migrants. Each room is worth around $500.