“Manhattan, come Lampedusa: l’assedio dei migranti ai tempi dell’immigrazione”

New York City and Lampedusa, two seemingly distant worlds, are both facing the same global emergency – the migrant crisis. Thousands of people with their own stories find themselves in challenging conditions. The Roosevelt Hotel, once an iconic four-star hotel in Manhattan, is now a shelter for those pursuing the American dream. Meanwhile, Lampedusa’s contrada Imbriacola hotspot deals with daily emergencies and a lack of European solidarity.

The issue of migration has become a political battleground between the left and right in the United States and Europe, resulting in accusations and little progress. Both New York City and Lampedusa face similar challenges, including public discontent and overwhelmed facilities. Mayor Eric Adams warns that the influx of 110,000 asylum seekers is putting New York City at risk of destruction, while Lampedusa struggles with a lack of assistance.

Giorgia Meloni, the Italian Prime Minister, and Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, recently visited Lampedusa. Meloni emphasized the importance of structural agreements with North African countries to prevent departures and the tragic deaths at sea. Von der Leyen presented a 10-point action plan to support Italy, but many European countries have shown little genuine willingness to help.

The Roosevelt Hotel, which reopened as a shelter for migrant families, is facing financial difficulties due to pandemic-related debt. The hotel, once a symbol of luxury, was taken over by Pakistan International Airlines in 1979 and leased to the New York City administration for a significant sum of $220 million.

Recently, a delegation of Democrats, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, visited the Roosevelt Hotel and faced opposition from citizens frustrated with the presence of migrants. Similar discontent is growing in Lampedusa, where the situation is slowly returning to normal, with around 1,000 migrants in the hotspot compared to the previous nearly 7,000. However, anger is rising among the locals, who resist the idea of turning the island into a deportation center.

The migrant arrivals in Lampedusa have continued for years without a lasting solution. Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary “Fire at Sea” depicted the ongoing crisis in 2016, while the Roosevelt Hotel has appeared in numerous Hollywood films, including “Maid in Manhattan” and “The Irishman.”

In conclusion, New York City and Lampedusa are facing the same challenges regarding migration. The political response has been divided, and the situation continues to strain both cities. The Roosevelt Hotel and Lampedusa’s hotspot symbolize the struggle and the urgent need for solutions.