(RightWing.org) – Last August, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and officials from New York City obtained a contract from President Joe Biden’s administration to lease Floyd Bennett Field to house as many as 2,000 asylum seekers. The now-obsolete airfield is located in Gateway National Recreational Center in Brooklyn, raising serious concerns among Republican lawmakers that the arrangement violated the National Environmental Policy Act. Recent information indicated that the situation surrounding the migrants has gone from bad to worse.
On January 9, New York City Council Minority Whip Inna Vernikov posted a short video clip on her X/Twitter account showing a group of migrants arriving at James Madison High School for temporary shelter from Bennett Field earlier that evening. The Republican councilwoman represents the city’s 48th District, which includes the school and defunct airfield.
First group of migrants from Floyd Bennett field arrive at James Madison High School. Madison is a scan school where students get scanned upon entrance, but the migrants got to bypass that as per the NYPD. A lot of law enforcement and other agency resources have been poured into… pic.twitter.com/52kWetWRxA
— Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (@InnaVernikov) January 9, 2024
Vernikov explained that students normally get scanned before entering the school. However, she reported that officials with the New York Police Department allowed them to bypass that critical security measure. She also noted that several agencies and other enforcement groups were pulled from their normal duties to help transfer the migrants.
The councilwoman didn’t offer any explanation for the migrants’ transfer to the high school, but Newsweek reported that officials decided to move them temporarily due to concerns related to some potentially dangerous weather conditions.
Vernikov’s 25-second clip went viral, receiving more than 450,000 views in less than 24 hours, illustrating the widespread concern regarding the decision to house migrants in a high school located near the center of New York City.
Senator Scarcella-Spanton’s statement on the relocation of migrants to James Madison High School.
— Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (@NYSenator_JSS) January 10, 2024
Criticism of the situation wasn’t limited to Republicans. NY State Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (D-District 23) issued a statement lashing out at the decision to house migrants at James Madison High School. She pointed out that parents and lawmakers recently thwarted an attempt to use the gym at a Coney Island elementary school for similar purposes.
Scarcella-Spanton also posted a link to a measure (Senate Bill S7417) she sponsored last year banning officials from establishing migrant shelters at daycare centers, public schools, and community-based facilities serving underage children. The legislation is still working its way through the NY Senate.
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