FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2023
The following statement is from Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R,C-Staten Island) on New York City’s response to the migrant crisis…
“Following last week’s surprise announcement that the former Hungerford School building on Tompkins Avenue would be used as temporary housing for migrants seeking asylum, I learned that city officials were in the process of selecting other sites across the five boroughs for such temporary housing, particularly public school buildings with stand-alone gymnasiums.
At this time we know that two public schools located in Brooklyn — P.S. 132 in Williamsburg and P.S. 188 in Coney Island — have been designated as temporary migrant housing and will begin intaking migrants immediately. Much like with the former Hungerford School building, the surrounding school community and, in this case, parents and staff, were not notified until last night — less than 24 hours before the start of the next school day.
This is a frustrating reminder of how, less than one year ago, City Hall blindsided communities throughout the city, especially on Staten Island, where migrants were warehoused in hotels by the hundreds. Then, just like now, city officials insisted that it would be temporary and non-intrusive. In time we learned that was a lie — and so we should know better than to believe it this time.
What’s more frustrating is that the politicians at City Hall and in Albany who’ve spent much of the past year talking about enhancing school security are now needlessly toying with the safety of our youngest and most vulnerable New Yorkers. It should signal caution that we cannot verify the backgrounds of these migrants, such as their true origin or criminal history — especially as we learn that some migrants attempting to enter the country illegally have known connections to terrorism. The virtue signaling on this alone couldn’t be more blatant — Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul, President Biden, and others should all be embarrassed for what they’ve allowed to happen in our city, state, and nation.
There is nothing temporary about this plan other than that it is a temporary solution for a permanent problem that, quite frankly, no community anywhere in this country should be burdened with. Above all, it is inhumane and contrary to beliefs and principles that define our nation, nor is it the ‘American Dream’ that anyone had in mind. We can and must do better.”