NEW YORK - Around 19,000 students in temporary housing have enrolled in city schools since July 2022, according to NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks.
Although the city does keep track of the immigration status of children enrolling in school, this comes as around 20,000 migrant children have arrived in New York City since last spring and are currently in the city’s care.
The upcoming school year is the latest hurdle the city is navigating in this migrant crisis. Just last week, more than 2,900 migrants arrived here in the city.
"We have room for the students," Chancellor Banks said.
Right now there are more than 3,400 teachers in the city’s public school system certified to teach English as a new language and at least 1,700 other teachers are fluent in Spanish, according to city officials.
Children living in temporary shelters do not have to be vaccinated to enroll in school - that includes migrant children.
However, according to city officials, they do have a certain timeframe in which they must complete those vaccinations once in school.
The city says it is also working on a mitigation strategy so that schools in one certain area are not overwhelmed with migrants.
"There have been some schools where they've gotten almost more than their fair share," Banks said. "They got more students than others. Some of that is driven by where the temporary housing is and so in those places we've worked really hard to try and mitigate for that."
Governor Kathy Hochul met with White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients on Wednesday to speak with federal officials about speeding up work authorization for migrants.
This comes as pressure is intensifying on the governor, from city officials, to move migrants upstate.
"I still can't quite get to why everybody has to come to New York City," Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom said. "I think that's the question that we want an answer to also."
Governor Hochul has been pushing back against relocating large groups of migrants upstate.
The Department of Homeland Security in a letter this week outlined 11 federal sites the city can likely use to house migrants, but most of the locations are upstate.
Adams says he might send migrants there whether Hochul wants him to or not.
"If the federal government tells us we can use this site, we’re going to do what the federal government tells us," Adams said.
In the letter, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also outlined several ways the city can improve its handling of migrants.
In response, city officials say the migrant crisis is a federal issue and the city is just trying to pick up the slack.
"The best way we can address the concerns raised and set this unsustainable situation on a better pathway is for our state and federal partners to not just point out areas …but to step up to alleviate the pressure on the city and to take more of an active role in its response," Williams-Isom said.
Mayor Adams is holding a rally at 9:45 am at Foley Square on Thursday to call on the federal government to expedite work authorization for migrants.