A group of migrants fueled by griping so-called advocates turned up their noses at free new lodging in Brooklyn on Tuesday — even after a personal tour of the site by the city’s immigration chief.

The single men said they would rather sleep in the cold on the sidewalk outside Manhattan’s three-star Watson Hotel, where they were booted over the weekend to make room for families, than stay at the freshly opened Cruise Terminal housing center in Red Hook.

“All the beds are together, the showers are out of the building … there’s no privacy,” one of the men, who only gave the last name Labrador, told The Post after touring the facility with Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro.

The Brooklyn site has become a near-impossible sell for the city as some volunteer aid workers and supposed advocates urge the migrants to refuse to go and instead protest till their demands are met.

Some migrants and their supporters claim the hangar-like Brooklyn facility lacks such necessities as sufficient heat and an easily accessible location, while the city says the temporary conditions are fine.

Migrants camp out of the Watson hotel, where they were booted.
A group of migrants fueled by griping so-called advocates turned up their noses at free new lodging in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Matthew McDermott

“We’re battling misinformation,’’ a frustrated Castro said Tuesday outside the Watson, as he futilely tried to fill up a shuttle bus with migrants to take a tour of the Brooklyn facility with him.

“One of my biggest worries is that they are saying that we’re setting up detention centers. So rumors are spreading among migrants and social media that we’re getting ready to remove people from the city, deport them — that’s just not the case.”

Even an advocate, Jesus Aguais, who migrated to the US 26 years ago from Venezuela and now works for the nonprofit Aid For Life, told The Post he believes some immigrants are being manipulated into protesting.

“This is confusion here because there is probably other interest that is not necessarily the migrants’ interest,” he said. “This is making more noise, and it’s getting [migrants] distracted. They have to move forward.”

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration Tuesday sent an e-mail to City Council members offering them two guided tours a day both Wednesday and Thursday at the Brooklyn site to see the conditions themselves.

Adams has repeatedly pleaded with President Biden for help with the more than 43,000 migrants who entered the country illegally at the southern border since spring, then claimed asylum and made their way to the Big Apple  — many on buses funded by overwhelmed border states.

But Biden continued to ignore the situation Tuesday even when he came to Manhattan to tour part of the Hudson River Tunnel project — about a mile south of the Watson — and didn’t try to get a firsthand look at the local migrant crisis. 

Handout image from this morning showing the interior of the Brooklyn Cruise terminal shelter being run by the for Migrants.
The Cruise Terminal housing center in Red Hook was opened to accommodate the increase in migrants.

Four asylum-seekers camped outside the hotel had agreed to get on the bus with Castro to go on the guided tour of the Brooklyn terminal Tuesday — only to return to the hotel afterward.

Three vowed to stay outside the hotel, even if it meant sleeping on cardboard in the cold.

The fourth said he’s on the fence, adding that city officials told him he and other migrants still have the option of Red Hook or a Manhattan shelter on 30th Street.

By Tuesday, an estimated 300 to 400 men had hunkered down at the Brooklyn terminal, where they sleep on a cot with a blanket and pillow, are fed three free hot meals a day and can play ping-pong, watch big-screen TVs and exercise on a treadmill.

They also have access to a free shuttle bus to the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn and a free two-way ferry ticket daily.

Migrants refusing to live in any city shelter are camping out in front of the Watson Hotel on 57th Street in Manhattan.
The migrants say they will camp outside of the Watson Hotel until they receive better accommodations.

But the facility — which holds about 1,000 people and features communal inside bathrooms and showers available in mobile trailers outside — also still has scores of empty beds.  

Leonel Daniel, 19, of Venezuela said he came to the Brooklyn site Saturday from the Watson but headed out the door Tuesday and will begin paying for a $600-a-month apartment in the Bronx.

He got a job two weeks ago that he said will pay $1,500 a month — $15 an hour, five hours a day, five days a week — cleaning the St. Francis of Assisi School in the Wakefield section. 

“I wanted to live [at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal}, but the environment is not fit for a human to live,” Daniel told The Post.

“The beds are not comfortable, there’s no privacy, and the showers are outside. 

“I had to leave my country and journey through the jungle to get to this country so I could help pay for my grandmother’s cancer medication,” he said.  

At least some migrants at the Brooklyn facility said Tuesday was a bit warmer inside the terminal than the day before.

Meanwhile, outside the Watson, about 40 migrants in all still milled about Tuesday, sitting on cardboard and huddled under blankets with their luggage in tow.

Some volunteers outside the hotel who are part of Mutual Aid — a voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for various causes — insisted they were not fomenting any protests.

Commissioner Manuel Castro talks to a few migrants aboard a city bus.
Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro has been giving migrants personal tours of the facility.
Matthew McDermott

But many migrants would prefer to camp out on the sidewalk rather than move to Brooklyn.
But many migrants would prefer to camp out on the sidewalk rather than move to Brooklyn.
Matthew McDermott

“[The migrants] are making their own decisions, and we are here to back them,” said Meryl Ranzer, a  59-year-old self-described occasional non-profit volunteer, to The Post. “That’s why when the Mayor’s Office claims that we are telling them what to do — it’s a blatant lie.”

Former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger,  a volunteer with Team TLC on Tuesday, said advocates gathered at the hotel because they saw people living on the street who were in need of help.

Two migrants who have been sleeping outside the hotel and only gave the first names of Allen and Tyler, spoke at a rally Tuesday outside the Watson to advocate for their rights.

“We’re just trying to have a dignified place to stay, like the city promised us we would have,” Tyler said. “The treatment, how we have been treated, has been poor.”

Alejandro added that while he and others appreciate “the people in New York who have heart and who have helped us,” the city is not doing enough.

Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
The facility holds about 1,000 people and features communal inside bathrooms and showers available in mobile trailers outside.
Paul Martinka

“We’re working [in the Midtown area], and to get to this new shelter, it will take a train and a bus, and we sometimes work nights and get home at odd hours of the night,’’ he said.

“We’re not getting paid enough to do that.”

Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan


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