Could NYC house asylum seekers in public schools?

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NYC to house asylum seekers in schools

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is looking to house some of the thousands of migrants and asylum seekers still coming to the city inside empty public schools during the summer, as the migrant crisis continues to intensify.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams' administration is planning to temporarily house migrants in public schools that will be used as shelters while students are on summer vacation.

The plan, part of New York City's ongoing efforts to deal with the migrant crisis, has come under fire from other elected officials, such as Staten Island Borough President Vito John Fossella, Jr. 

"It's bad policies that have allowed this to happen. Lack of good judgement that’s allowed 60, 70, 80 thousand people to show up in New York City," Vito Fossella Jr. said.

20 to 30 schools are on the list of those on the administration’s radar; however the New York Post reported that New Dorp High School on Staten Island, Mark Twain Middle School for the Gifted and Talented in Coney Island and Russell Sage Middle School in Forest Hills are all possible locations.

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Vito Fossella Jr. calls the move bad news for his constituents near New Dorp High, a school with problems of its own already. 

"I don't think it's right that a school that accommodates kids that's right now is boarded up. There's work being done on it. I don't think that's the right approach here," he shared. 

With just about 8 weeks remaining in summer break, students return to class in September, giving the administration more time and space to get more long-term remedies in the works to address a city overwhelmed with a massive migrant surge. 

More than 84 thousand migrants have come through the city’s intake system since last spring. In response, the city has opened nearly 180 emergency sites including 12 Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers.

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Back in May, when Mayor Adams announced migrants would be housed in school gyms across the city, parents adamantly pushed back. But months later at Russel Sage Middle School in Forest Hill neighbors to the school have a different perspective, saying they’re open to the move.

"I feel like the police station right across the street that would be a control factor if there were to be anything go wrong," one parent said.

"I guess I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with it. It’s a big building. You can probably out a lot of people in there," said another.

A spokesperson at city hall shared a statement in part saying: "As Mayor Adams has said repeatedly, we have more than 51,800 asylum seekers in our care and have reached capacity. While this option is not ideal, none are, and we are in no position to take anything off the table."