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New York Governor Kathy Hokul has asked US President Joe Biden for federal assistance in accommodating migrants after the repeal of Title 42. New York is struggling to accommodate the new arrivals, with shelters full and further buses continuing to arrive. Schools in the city are now being turned into temporary shelters for migrants, which has caused concern among parents, who worry about the safety of their children and disruption to their education. There have been protests and complaints filed with authorities, and lawsuits have been brought against the City of New York and a local hotel for hosting migrants.
they are housed in schools and driven upstate unannounced
The repeal of Title 42, which required US asylum seekers to await a decision in their cases in Mexico, created a lot of problems for New York, writes ABC News.
GTexas governor Greg Abbott continues to deliver migrants to New York. The shelters are full, and new buses from the south keep coming. Some counties in New York have already declared a state of emergency.
New York Gov. Kathy Hokul sent a letter to US President Joe Biden asking for federal assistance to the state in accommodating migrants.
“I have determined that this incident is so serious and large that an effective response is beyond the capacity of the state and local government, and that additional federal assistance is needed,” Hokul wrote.
New York shelters are unable to accommodate so many migrants, the governor said. 36,700 people have now been settled in 120 places, including 40% of the “mid-level hotel stock”.
Adams lowered the comfort level for immigrants
New York City has long had a law that every immigrant has the right to shelter. And this shelter cannot be just a tent under a tree, it must be with amenities, in particular, with a separate bathroom and kitchen.
This week, New York Mayor Eric Adams acknowledged that the city is unable to meet this requirement with such an influx of immigrants. And canceled it. He signed emergency executive orders and suspended the requirement for families to be housed in separate rooms with bathrooms and kitchens.
At the same time, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso considers the mayor’s decision a mistake and sees another way out of the situation.
Reyonso believes part of the responsibility for the current crisis lies with property owners, “who sit in thousands of empty apartments while families sleep on the streets.” He also denounced “zoning policies that hinder the construction of new affordable housing.” The Biden administration has also been hit, which, according to Reyonso, “refuses to provide meaningful assistance, despite the fact that immigration is a federal issue.”
“If property owners resist the voluntary opening of free apartments for the homeless, we need to consider filing a lawsuit … And if the federal government continues to sit idly by, we will make sure that every person in this city and state understands that the blame for this situation lies on President Biden and his failure to find a comprehensive solution,” Reyonso said.
While local politicians in the city offer their solutions to the problem, the mayor decided to settle migrants in schools.
School gyms are being turned into shelters
New York City Council member Ari Kagan expressed disappointment with Adams’ decision after the school’s gymnasium on Coney Island decided to house migrants. Residents are also outraged by the unexpected move, noting that such a shelter could cause problems with crime and threats to the health of the local population.
“Take them to the Gracie mansion (the residence of the mayor of New York), one of the residents said. “Mayor Adams is going too far.”
The gyms of at least six more schools in New York intend to temporarily accommodate migrants. This provoked a surge of indignation among the parents. They worry about the safety of children and possible failures in learning, writes the New York Post.
“We care about asylum seekers and are proud to be a city of asylum, but hosting migrants on school grounds is completely unacceptable,” said Virginia Wu, a parent committee member at MS 577 in Williamsburg.
MS 577 shares a gym with PS 17, one of Brooklyn’s elementary schools. Other elementary schools where migrants will be housed are PS 18 and PS 132 (both in Williamsburg), PS 172 in Sunset Park, and PS 189 near Prospect Lefferts Gardens. The first migrants arrived in the gyms of these schools on May 16.
An additional 300 migrants are expected to be housed at the former Richard Hungerford School on Tompkins Avenue in Staten Island.
The arrival of migrants on campuses essentially means kids will now be “locked inside” because the gym is adjacent to an outdoor playground, some parents say.
“Students will be locked inside and will not be able to go to recess or do physical education, which will cause huge damage to their well-being,” Wu said. “These kids just got through the COVID-19 pandemic and are now locked in classrooms.”
Damaris Fernandez, whose children are in MS 577 and PS 17, said immigrants are also a security issue.
“Schools are guarded for a reason. Parents must provide identification when they enter the school. And now there will be illegal migrants on the playground…” Fernandez said.
In a letter to parents, MS 577 director Maria Masullo insisted that the impact of migrants on the educational process would be minimal.
“This should not affect the operation of the school, and immigrants will not have access to the part of the school where students and staff are located,” Masullo wrote.
But some parents have said they don’t believe anyone who tells them their children won’t be harmed, adding that they are considering taking their children out of schools.
“It’s unthinkable. Why would I take my child to a school where grown men live in the gym? You won’t let a stranger enter the school without ID, but will you let him live in your school gym?” one parent noted.
Several parents said they were organizing protests near their schools. They also urged the authorities to place immigrants in more suitable places.
“These are desperate times,” Wu said. “Maybe stadiums or any other open space in the city that is not school grounds should be used.”
Teamsters Local 237 president Gregory Floyd filed a complaint with the city’s Office of Labor Relations asking the Adams administration to “stop and desist” from placing migrants in city schools. The complaint alleges that the school’s security agents are incapable of dealing with migrants and that the move violates collective agreements.
Some of the migrants brought to New York City are sent to the north of the state, where the situation is less critical. Although the residents of those areas do not really like this approach.
On the subject: Where immigrants can find free lawyers, housing assistance and guarantors
Scandals and courts
Orange County is located approximately 60 miles (96.5 km) from New York City. There, a scandal erupted when 82 migrants were taken by bus from New York to the Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh. Eric Adams did not notify the state police, the local sheriff, or Hokul of their shipment.
“This is an unprofessional way of doing it; things could have gone a lot easier,” said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus.
He noted that Adams at first told him that he would send 60 male migrants to the district, but after a few days he said that no one would be taken to Orange. But then Neuhaus got a call and was told that the bus was already pulling up to the hotel. According to him, Hokul is trying very hard to solve the situation, but “the authorities of New York City have gone crazy.”
Orange County is suing the City of New York and the Crossroads Hotel to stop hosting migrants. The City of Newburgh, New York, has also filed a lawsuit and requested a temporary restraining order against the owner of the Crossroads Hotel, demanding an immediate end to the hotel’s “deliberate, dangerous and illegal conversion” of the hotel into migrant housing.
Neuhaus said he’s not opposed to the arrival of immigrants in the county, but wants them to pass screenings and not just settle in huge groups in local hotels.
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