“Housing illegal immigrants in schools is unacceptable and irresponsible. Illegal immigrants do NOT belong in our schools. It’s the Far Left’s failed attempt to deal with the illegal immigration crisis created by radical sanctuary city policies and Biden’s border crisis,” stated Congresswoman Stefanik. “House Democrats are doing everything in their power to worsen the crisis at our borders. In contrast, House Republicans have passed the strongest border security bill ever and today, with the passage of the Schools Not Shelters Act, we are making it crystal clear that our students will always come before illegal immigrants.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to house asylum seekers in up to 30 current and former public schools. Governor Kathy Hochul identified three SUNY campuses to shelter up to 1,500 migrants in dorms over the summer. In response, this legislation is sending a clear message that schools should be focused on helping students recover from devastating pandemic-era learning loss. Hosting illegal immigrants on school campuses poses a significant safety risk to school children and compromises schools' ability to secure their own campus.
Specifically, this bill applies to the facilities of (1) public elementary or secondary schools, and (2) institutions of higher education.
This prohibition does not apply to shelter or housing provided in response to certain disasters such as a fire, flood, explosion, or tornado for which there has been a disaster declaration.