Dems Roll Out Welcome Mat for World’s Criminals

By Betsy McCaughey Published on February 7, 2024

Maria Manaura, who’s been arrested at least eight times in the six months since she arrived in New York City from Venezuela, is living at the Row NYC hotel, once hailed for its unbeatable Times Square location and front-row view of the theater district. Now it’s drug-infested and violent, but still costs taxpayers $500 a night for each of the 1,300 rooms given over to migrants.

Manaura was busted again Jan. 30 for snatching a woman’s cellphone on the No. 6 train. She was charged with grand larceny and resisting arrest, but instead of getting locked up, Judge Jay Weiner granted supervised release, likely in time for her to make it back to the hotel and another prepared meal paid for by you and me. It’s sickening.

Migrants like Manaura who rack up clashes with police should be made ineligible for the city’s largesse. Handing out hotel rooms and free meals to repeat thugs makes it easier for them to commit crimes and makes us into patsies.

If Youโ€™re a Criminal, Whatโ€™s Not to Like?

The Democratic Party is turning New York City into a Shangri-La for international theft rings and migrants here to rob and burglarize. Taxpayers foot the bill for the thieves’ hotel accommodations, plus three meals a day and a long list of other benefits, even free bus tickets if they have to skip town in a hurry. If you’re a criminal, what’s not to like?

This stupidity isn’t new. For over a year, New York City has coddled criminal migrants with long rap sheets, sheltering and feeding them while they continue their crime spree.

Last year, while announcing the arrests of migrants who stole $12,489 worth of goods from Macy’s at Roosevelt Field, Commissioner Patrick Ryder of the Nassau County Police warned about “ongoing organized theft groups that are being sent up here for the purpose to commit crimes here.” Two of the men arrested lived at the Watson Hotel on West 57th Street, courtesy of taxpayers.

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Fast forward to the migrants who beat down two NYPD officers in Times Square on Jan. 27. This started as a retail crime. That evening, a gang of migrants had just raided the clothing store Aldo, grabbing handbags and running, as they did daily, when they were interrupted by the police.

Many of the seven assailants arrested that night had numerous prior run-ins with the law. According to former NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Terrorism John Miller, they “operated on mopeds and scooters. They were doing organized retail theft.”

Here’s the kicker: They were living in city shelters. Taxpayers were providing these career criminals with a roof over their heads and meals. We’re the suckers.

Sweetheart Deals for the Criminally Inclined

In 2022, Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched a crackdown on international retail theft rings. But New York’s Democratic politicians have vowed never to cooperate with ICE. Too bad for the businesses and citizens here.

In December, Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) told a House hearing that international crime rings are exploiting President Joe Biden’s open borders and heading to blue states with soft-on-crime policies such as releasing suspects without bail and deeming thefts of less than $1,000 misdemeanors, not felonies.

Miller said retail theft gangs based in Florida come to New York, where the pickings are good and the risk of going to jail is minimal. If they robbed stores in Florida, they’d be locked up.

But no problem robbing stores in Illinois. Last fall, Oak Brook Deputy Chief of Police Reid Foltyniewicz said, “We want everyone to be aware of the increase in criminal activity from the migrant community coming from Chicago.”

NYC Needs a Brain to Go Along With Its Heart

Even so, nothing matches the sweetheart deal criminally inclined migrants get in the Big Apple. And it’s only getting sweeter. Last week, Mayor Eric Adams inked contracts for $137 million more to be spent on hotel rooms for migrants, and announced the city will hand out debit cards — worth up to $1,000 a month — allowing migrants to buy food that’s culturally appealing. That gives migrants the same purchasing power as low-income New Yorkers who are here legally.

Migrants will have to sign an affidavit stating they will spend the funds only on food and baby supplies. That’s a laugh.

But there’s nothing funny about an invasion of career criminals posing as asylum seekers. New York has a heart, but it’s time New York used its brain and stopped making our city a paradise for the world’s thieves.

 

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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