Immigrant hotel worker sues NYC after getting assaulted by migrant

April 2, 2023 By Carl Campanile

Cleaning worker Hatixhe Xhani claimed that she was assaulted by a migrant being sheltered at the NYMA hotel in Manhattan.

Migrant hotels are becoming dangerous — for the tireless immigrants who work there, an explosive lawsuit claims.

Cleaning worker Hatixhe Xhani, 65, an Albanian immigrant, alleges she was assaulted by a female migrant sheltered at the NYMA hotel at 6 West 32nd Street near the Empire State Building, according to her negligence suit filed last month against the city and Department of Homeless Services/Social Services.

“I treat all people with respect. I am grateful for my job and work hard everyday. I don’t understand how someone can do this to another person,” the grandmother of four told The Post.

The lawsuit, and a criminal complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, allege migrant Alexandra Leal-Gimenez — staying with her male partner in a room at the NYMA hotel — on Feb. 24 slapped Xhani in the face in the hotel lobby.

Xhani’s lawyer, John Ciafone, claimed Leal-Giminez and her partner had previously accused Xhani of stealing a necklace while she was vacuuming the hotel room they occupied. Xhani denied it.

The hotel investigated and cleared Xhani, but there were ongoing tensions because she remained cleaning there, including for Leal-Giminez and her partner, Ciafone said.

Xhani’s suit said city officials supervising the migrants knew about the volatile situation and did nothing to protect her. The hotel was not named as a defendant.

Manhattan Hotel

“Defendants … were aware of the threats and harassment and are negligent for failing to address the threats and harassment against Plaintiff, Hatixhe Xhani that eventually lead to Plaintiff being severely assaulted and battered,” the Queens Supreme Court lawsuit says.

The suit — which refers to Leal-Giminez as an “illegal migrant” — seeks unspecified damages.

Leal-Giminez and her partner were reassigned to another shelter following the alleged assault, Ciafone said, adding Xani, who has worked as a cleaner for 22 years, is still employed at the hotel.

Manhattan Hotel

Xhani, an Astoria resident, came to the US from Albania in 1987 and became a naturalized American citizen in 1993.

“My client is a hardworking, immigrant, senior citizen, union member, success story. She was threatened, assaulted and battered while performing her job duties to support her family,” Ciafone told The Post.

“As we continuously witness, our City rewards bad actors at the expense of the good and hardworking people who pay taxes for a designed political fiasco. I think the defendant should be deported.”

The migrant crisis has strained city resources — particularly for an already overburdened shelter system.

Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency  over the city’s migrant crisis in October 2022 — and city officials have processed 51,000 migrants since last spring, with 31,100-plus living in at least 101 emergency shelters at a cost of  $4.6 million a day .

The total tab for taxpayers is projected to  reach $4.2 billion  by the middle of next year, according to the mayor.

Adams is seeking aid from the federal and state government to help defray the city’s costs of aiding migrants pending the results of their asylum cases.