To the editor:
(re: “No room for homeless, migrants,” June 29)
My name is Peter Pantone-Lavelle. I’m 10 years old and I go to P.S. 81. I want to respond to Mitch Kaufman’s recent letter to the editor.
He argues that there should not be a homeless shelter or migrant housing in the former Manhattan College dorm that was recently sold to the Stagg Group for $18 million.
I believe that it will be good and helpful for the neighborhood.
Kaufman says, “Migrants are not vetted and could very well include people that are gang-related, desperate, or involved with drugs.” In other words, they commit crimes.
A reason I disagree with Mitch Kaufman is because, according to a chart in The Marshall Project, between 1980 and 2016, the rise in immigrant population in the United States increased by 118 percent, but the violent crime rate in the United States has decreased by 36 percent. This shows that immigrants are not having an effect on violent crime in the United States.
Also, not everyone is vetted, even if they have lived in the United States their whole life.
Another reason I disagree with Mitch Kaufman is because, according to Gothamist, it was estimated that 3,439 homeless people were living in public spaces in 2022. If people like Mitch Kaufman don’t want to see human beings who do not have enough money, then a shelter is the answer.
I do not mean that a shelter is to help higher income people. Homeless shelters are to keep people alive and safe.
If Mitch Kaufman does not want this, then Mitch Kaufman is the one we have no room for.