New York Mayor Adams Defends Booting Students From School for Migrants; ‘I’m Not Gonna Put Children in Harm’s Way.


Parents in Brooklyn complained when a high school was used as a temporary migrant shelter during torrential rain.

Migrants were taken on school buses to a nearby high school in Brooklyn when torrential rain threatened their shelter at Floyd Bennett Field. Tuesday, Jan. 9 2024 Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams hit back Thursday at criticism he faced over the city's decision to house migrants at a high school during a storm, forcing students into remote learning for one day.

Appearing on ABC's Good Morning America, Adams said he would not listen to a "fringe group" complaining about the city fulfilling its promises to keep families safe.

The mayor was criticized when nearly 2,000 migrants housed in tents on Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn were moved to James Madison High School Tuesday night, as the city dealt with torrential rain.

"People called in bomb threats, people made some nasty remarks. That's not New York," Adams told GMA. "We've always used our school buildings during emergencies.

"Those parents who are stating that we can't inconvenience someone for one day because of other children, that's not acceptable and I'm not going to put children in harm's way."

The mayor referred to previous situations such as an apartment building fire in the Bronx in 2022, as well as other emergencies where residents had been temporarily housed in nearby schools.

Families returned to the shelter Wednesday morning, but the school opted for remote learning that day anyway.

"Not one child or family sleeps on the streets of the city of New York because of what my team has done," Adams continued. "We did the right thing."

This week's events were not the first time the city's leaders have been criticized for involving school buildings in its housing plans for migrants. In May 2023, proposals to use school gyms across the city as shelters sparked widespread outrage, with the city later retracting its proposal.

Adams appeared on GMA as part of a wider segment on the migrant crisis, which has seen NYC welcome nearly 170,000 people since the spring of 2022. The mayor has been particularly vocal in calling for federal assistance in dealing with the issue.

"Cities should not be handling a national crisis of this magnitude," Adams added. "There are weeks we get 4,000 migrants coming into our city.

"When you have anything from 2,500 to 4,000 people coming a week and you have to find housing, food, clothing, education [for] the children, healthcare, that's not sustainable."

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