NYC Scrambles To Enroll Migrant Children In School 2 Days Before It Starts

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Jake Smith Contributor
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New York City officials are rushing to enroll migrant children in school before the academic year starts in two days, the New York Post reported on Tuesday.

There are approximately 19,500 children living in temporary housing in New York City, most of whom are migrants seeking asylum and have been enrolled in school since 2022, according to the Post. There are over 100,000 migrants living in New York City as the nation’s largest city grapples with a growing migrant crisis. (RELATED: ‘State Of Emergency’: Dem Gov Calls On National Guard Over Migrant Crisis)

Public schools were being forced to deal with the challenge of finding space, funding and teachers as nearly 60 migrant students and their families showed up per day the prior week to enrollment facilities ahead of the start of the school year on Thursday, the Post reported Saturday. A number of migrant parents and students were excited for the upcoming school year, despite other challenges with work permits and housing.

“It had been hard here. I’ve been trying to find a job, but I haven’t been able to work yet,” Rosa Escobar, a Peruvian migrant and mother of three, said to the Post. “I am trying to get my kids registered for school. I am excited that they have the chance to go to school here, but I am trying to get the paperwork sorted out.”

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Parents rush to enroll their children in school before the academic year begins on Sept. 7. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Some parents noted that the city’s enrollment process had been straightforward, even as Thursday’s deadline quickly approached. “The process has been really easy so far. The paperwork has been no problem. People show us what to do. We have gotten a ton of help from people for the process,” Yohanna Silva, a migrant from Venezuela with a son going into school, said to the Post. “My son doesn’t speak English, but I’m not worried about it. They will give him English lessons at school.”

“The process of finding them a school and getting registered has been fast and easy. We did it on time. People gave us a lot of help,” Irrian Hernandes, a Venezuelan migrant with a child headed into school, said to the Post. “Things are mostly better here. My one concern for me and my kids is getting a fair wage. There is a lot of labor abuse that goes on.”

Migrants entering New York state have to wait 180 days to receive a work permit, and many are either living in shelters or sleeping on the streets of the city. Democrat New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul have been at odds as to how the migrant crisis should be addressed.

Adams recently said that Hochul was “wrong” for her stance that migrants coming into the city shouldn’t be transported into other parts of the state. Hochul had rejected a proposal from Adams that would have prevented municipalities from blocking incoming migrants, citing the fact that “right to shelter” mandates don’t apply to other parts of the state.

Since the fall of 2022, approximately 16,000 migrant children enrolled in New York City public schools as of the end of last school year. The surge of migrants coming into the city has forced many schools to bring in more students than they can hold, with one school having to turn its music room, science lab and TV studio into classrooms, taking away after-school programs from students.

The New York Department of Public Education did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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