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Crisis at the Border: New York Schools Being Used as Sanctuary

Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced on Tuesday that public schools throughout the state of New York will be used to house immigrants, in a response to the recent influx of nearly 4,200 migrants who are seeking asylum after the expiration of Title 42. They were previously being sent to homeless shelters, which quickly reached an overwhelming capacity, forcing city officials to enact a “drastic” measure to accommodate the incoming population by giving them access to schools.


PS 188 in Coney Island  is currently being used as temporary housing for asylum-seekers, and Mayor Adams claims that this will only be a short-term solution. His administration is providing blankets, cots and food in the gymnasium, and plans to extend this arrangement to numerous other public schools, primarily in Brooklyn.


Adams is receiving backlash for his management of this predicament, as homelessness and housing resources were already scarce, and are now being exacerbated by this new wave of immigration.


With only four weeks of school left, parents have also expressed their concerns, as they fear their children’s education will be impaired when sharing the facility with immigrants who are staying there overnight for days at a time. Samantha Orme disclosed that her child, who attends  PS 132 in Williamsburg, had their outside recess privileges taken, as migrants occupy their gymnasium. While she is frustrated with the city’s decision to utilize her child’s school as sanctuary, she also explained her sympathy and understanding for the immigrants who have no other options and are being subject to abhorrent conditions.


One of the many policies that are being deemed as dangerous by local officials is the mayor’s suspension on the city’s former Right-to-Shelter rules earlier this week. The Legal Aid Society and Coalition for the Homeless explained the hazards of this new policy and stated that “congregate shelters put families and children at risk of communicable diseases and sexual assault, and they adversely impact mental health". This temporary order does not require families to be provided with their own bathrooms, kitchens, or rooms separate from strangers as well as a lack of strict eviction codes and housing applications, which were enacted to prevent potentially dangerous residents.


Mayor Adams and Community Education Councils assert that they are actively formulating plans to find more viable options to house the incoming immigrants, but are unsure of when and how this will proceed.

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Tags: #humanitariancrisis #immigration #NewYork #mayoradams #bordercrisis


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