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Shocking video, pictures show dozens of migrants living in cramped store basement

via ABC
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Dozens of illegal migrants from West Africa were discovered living in cramped conditions inside a furniture store in Queens, New York.

The store owner, Ebou Sarr, was charging about 74 migrants $300 per month each to sleep in the basement and first floor spaces.

Ebou Sarr said, “It’s a big space, so we have bunk beds, queen bunk beds, some twin bunk beds just to make space for everybody to fit, and we can have space to pray.”

“Monday morning, I come outside, I see bikes in the back. That’s when I got alarmed,” recalled Sarr.

She added, “And all over the news you see that these e-bikes are exploding, and they are lighting up the whole block. Nobody’s safety [the owner] was concerned about.”

City officials found severe overcrowding with no ventilation or natural light.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “It was first reported to the FDNY, and then DOB came in and made sure that those who were there were removed and given the services that are available.”

The mayor continued, “We’re still investigating what happened here. When you have situations like we are facing here, there’s going to be an attempt to exploit it, there’s going to be an attempt to do illegal housing, so we have an obligation with DOB, FDNY and all of our services to respond and take [the] necessary action that was done last night.”

Migrants had to sleep in shifts due to the lack of space.

The city issued vacate orders and violations against the owner for illegal plumbing work and improper occupancy.

Neighbors had complained for weeks about the number of people living there and e-bikes being stored on the property.

The incident showed how city services responded to illegal housing situations.

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