As the city struggles with migrant overpopulation, the state is looking at the possibility of using taxpayer-funded schools like the SUNY campuses to offer more housing.
Mayor Eric Adams insists the federal government step in ‘to move migrants around the nation’ since the city is ‘unable to continue treating arriving asylum seekers with the dignity and compassion that they deserve.’
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on June 12 that two dormitories belonging to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) will be used as migrant mega-shelters.
According to the press release from the mayor’s office, the Stratford Arms and Amsterdam residence halls located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side will hold more than a combined 800 migrants in 516 rooms, primarily consisting of single women and adult families.
“New York City has stepped up, opening nearly 170 emergency sites to provide temporary shelter but without federal aid and a strategy to move migrants around the nation we are unable to continue treating arriving asylum seekers with the dignity and compassion that they deserve,” said Adams.
New York Governor Kathy Hocul has also mentioned the possibility of using SUNY campuses to house migrants.
In an interview with NY1, Hocul stated, “I had a meeting in our emergency operations center with all of our cabinet members, and had representatives from SUNY there, and I said: ‘find all available state properties, let’s analyze them, let’s see whether they’re temporary short-term, whether they can be longer-term.’”
The governor’s answer triggered a response from New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who said, “It’s disgusting and shameful that Governor Kathy Hochul is in discussion with local officials about using taxpayer-funded SUNY schools and facilities throughout New York, including SUNY schools across NY-21 to house unvetted illegal immigrants.”
Republican state legislators have since proposed a bill that would specifically “[prohibit] the use of SUNY dormitories for the purposes of providing permanent or temporary housing for migrant populations.”
State Senator Daniel Stec said in a press conference, “New York City received $1 billion in aid in the state budget to manage this self-inflicted crisis. Despite that, they still can’t handle this issue and now Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul are trying to pass costs and responsibilities onto upstate communities and SUNY campuses.”
He continued: “If New York City, home to millions and recipient of extra funding, can’t handle the influx of migrants, there’s no way SUNY campuses and upstate New York are equipped for it.”