BP Fossella Questions Government Spending On Migrant Crisis While Basic Needs Of Active Duty Military Families Are Neglected


BP Fossella questions the government spending possibly $600 million annually on the migrant crisis while basic needs of active military families are neglected

Borough Hall will host a drive for the Blue Star Families organization, collecting basic needs such as baby diapers, baby wipes, and cereal for military families in need

Staten Island, NY – Borough President Vito J. Fossella questioned the government’s expected $600 million annual cost on the migrant crisis while basic needs for active military families are not met. In this light, the Borough President is calling out to Staten Islanders for help with some basic items for these families, many with young children, who struggle with housing and food costs.  


Last month, Borough President Fossella and other local elected officials reported results of a financial analysis they requested from the Independent Budget Office of New York City (IBO) regarding the migrant crisis. They concluded that the city would spend about $600 million a year to shelter the 23,800 asylum seekers who have come to New York City. IBO estimated that a family of four who enters a shelter for a year and has two children enrolled in public school while receiving basic needs, and some health and legal services will cost $93,000 per year. To put that in perspective, the median income of Staten Island is $85,000 per household and adding up a Staten Island family’s average mortgage, insurance, medical costs, and utilities, etc., it comes out to about $60,000 a year. So, for the ordinary family on Staten Island, it costs $60,000 to live and yet, we’re paying $93,000 to do the same for the asylum seekers.


The Borough President stressed the injustice of spending $93,000 a year on a migrant family while active military personnel cannot afford basic needs for their children. A quick analysis determined that this amount could provide diapers for 4 years to those children in need.


“Staten Island has a deep history in welcoming and supporting active military personnel – whether it’s Fleet Week, Adopt a Sailor program, or the “Hero Needs a Hero” effort from the Ollis Foundation. The drive we are launching is an extension of that, so our military families can live with the basic necessities of life,” said Borough President Fossella. “But where are our priorities? The amount of money the government is spending on the migrant crisis could assist all of these families who have trouble making ends meet.”


Blue Star Families conducted a survey from September to October 2020, receiving nearly 11,000 respondents who reported on their military family lifestyle. According to this report, financial issues and stress were one of the top five stressors. It also states that spousal employment continues to be an issue since “most active-duty family respondents have children under the age of 18 at home (80%).” Of that percentage, “65 percent need child care at least some of the time” and many are unable to access affordable and quality childcare. In addition, 14 percent of active military families reported they have had low or very low food security in the previous year. This struggle continues today.  


The Borough President’s office is calling on Staten Islanders to help our active military families by donating baby diapers, wipes, and cereal for the Blue Star Families organization which runs a food pantry out of Fort Wadsworth. Donations of new diapers, wipes, and cereal can be brought to the lobby at Borough Hall, 10 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301 (corner of Hyatt Street and Stuyvesant) during business hours. A box for items will be available, and donations will be accepted until Friday, January 6th. Please note the building is closed on December 26th and January 2nd.

The Blue Star Families was founded by military spouses in 2009 to empower these families to thrive as they serve. They’re committed to strengthening military families by connecting them with their neighbors – individuals and organizations – to create vibrant communities of mutual support. They believe we’re all stronger when we take care of one another. Find more information about their nonprofit at https://bluestarfam.org/.

Banner Image: Mexican/American border. Image Credit –  WikiImages



BP Vito Fossella

The Office of the Borough President has a responsibility to advocate for the entire Borough of Staten Island and all its residents, and represents the Borough's interests within City government. The Borough President communicates directly with the Mayor and the City Council to emphasize Staten Island’s budget priorities. In addition, the Borough President is responsible for reviewing major land use decisions and proposing sites for city facilities within the Borough. As the chair of the Borough Board, the Borough President leads Staten Island’s City Council delegation and Community Board chairs in the process of reviewing and approving the transfer of public properties to private use. The Borough President’s Office houses the Borough's Topographical Bureau, which maintains the borough’s official maps and assigns street addresses. The Borough President monitors the delivery of city services on Staten Island, and acts as a liaison between residents and city agencies when problems arise to devise solutions. The Borough President is also responsible for appointing one member to the Panel for Educational Policy and one member to the City Planning Commission, as well as some 150 members to Staten Island’s three community boards.

One Comment

  • Avatar Kesha says:

    I am a moral person and all for charity.

    But how much can we reasonably sustain?

    If we have a million people come into NYC, that will break us. Apparently, so would a far smaller number of migrants.

    The services they require has to come from somewhere. How is an ailing city supposed to do this during an economic downturn?

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