In Emergency Order, Eric Adams Suspends Public Hearings Over Migrant Housing Plans

New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams has suspended land use review processes, including public hearings with city residents, to expedite the search for housing for illegal immigrants coming to the city.

Adams suspended the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure used in city planning to weigh interests and receive public input. The “humanitarian crisis” that has exploded in the city because of illegal migrants from the southern border necessitated the drastic step, according to an emergency executive order enacted on Monday.

The order comes as the city faces growing backlash over its handling of the influx of migrants. Residents are protesting the city’s decision to potentially house migrants in neighborhoods and schools.

“[T]he City now faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that requires it to take extraordinary measures to meet the immediate needs of the asylum seekers while continuing to serve the tens of thousands of people who are currently using the DHS Shelter System,” the order says.

The order suspends “the holding of public hearings, the certification of applications, the submission of recommendations, any required or necessary voting, the taking of final actions, and the issuance of determinations” related to zoning, leasing, and construction of migrant shelters until the emergency comes to an end.

Students and their parents at three Brooklyn schools took to the streets this week to protest the city’s plan to house migrants in at least 20 school gymnasiums across the city. Many involved in the protest carried signs such as “I need recess” and “I want to go to school safe please!”

“I don’t feel safe having adult men with no criminal background checks or health screenings living at our children’s school,” Richard Cabo, whose daughter is in sixth grade, told the New York Post.

“It makes me want to cry, honestly,” said Jesenia Velez, whose daughter is in second grade. “I do sympathize with what’s going on, but I just don’t think it should be on school grounds. If you’re going to accept people in, that’s fine, but they should be nowhere near kids. It’s not the right place.”

More than 200 parents and city school officials held an “emergency meeting” on Tuesday night over the city’s plan. Parents told a local news outlet that the meeting did little to answer their concerns over housing migrants so close to students.

Adams has said that the city is running out of options. It has received more than 65,000 of the millions of migrants that have entered the U.S. since the border crisis began after President Joe Biden won the White House.

“Each gym, the 20 gyms that we are looking at, we have not made a final determination on all the gyms, but that we are looking at are separate from the actual school buildings, they are independent from the school buildings, they are not in buildings where schools are,” Adams said.

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