Rockland Responds: County Executive Ed Day Responds to Question on Public Schools Being Overrun by Illegal Migrant Students

Rockland Responds: County Executive Ed Day Responds to Question on Public Schools Being Overrun by Illegal Migrant Students

 In the recent Rockland Daily article, there is a quote from ERCSD's Ogechi Iuowaha, district assistant superintendent of instruction and curriculum, who, at the October 24 school board meeting regarding the number of new students (who are obviously illegal migrants) the East Ramapo Central School District is seeing, quoted the following "up to 100 children join the district weekly, if not daily."

This is a really, truly alarming number when you consider that the school district spends  $31,421 per student each year, as per another Rockland Daily article found here. 

It is actually a completely untenable situation as the cost burden can't possibly be upheld by taxpayers, and it seems no one is sounding the alarm and that we are quickly following on the heels of NYC where the mayor there has said that the migrant crisis will destroy New York City.

What is the County Executive's office doing to make sure that the illegal migrant crisis does not destroy all of Rockland as well?

Thank you,

A Concerned Taxpaying Rockland Resident


 Dear Concerned Taxpaying Rockland Resident,

Last fall, my administration was made aware of strains local districts were enduring due to the organic migration of migrants coming to Rockland for family or friend connections. As we feel government has an obligation to be open, honest, and transparent with residents, we publicized this back in March of this year, as organic migration was at that time pushing various local infrastructures, including districts, to their tipping points. This is why we swiftly took action the moment we learned about Mayor Eric Adams’ Decompression Strategy, which would have quadrupled the homeless population in Rockland overnight.

Our actions include a newly established law called the Home Rule Autonomy in Housing Act. This new law formalizes and prevents outside jurisdictions from unilaterally deciding to establish or operate shelters or housing programs in Rockland and states that no municipality or property owner in Rockland County may participate in or establish a housing program without a license issued by the County of Rockland.

This law is necessary to protect this County from other municipalities attempting to force their own policies, costs, and responsibilities on Rockland residents, and I want to thank County Attorney Thomas Humbach for his tireless effort in crafting this law for our administration.

New York Supreme Court Justice Thomas Zugibe also recently granted the County of Rockland’s request for a Preliminary Injunction against the City of New York and Mayor Eric Adams and the Armoni Hotel, prohibiting the City from proceeding with their plan to turn the Armoni Inn and Suites in Orangeburg into a shelter for 340 migrants.  

In May, my administration filed a lawsuit against the City of New York, citing its lack of authority to establish a shelter outside of its boundaries without cooperation of the County and local municipalities. The lawsuit underscores the City of New York’s lack of communication and planning and its failure to follow New York State rules and regulations required for setting up a shelter.

But these steps will be meaningless and taken in a vacuum if the Federal Government does not do its job and close the border for a specific period of time, consistent with getting this crisis under control, as our steps only address the symptoms of the true problem.

Again, this has nothing to do with being anti-immigration and everything to do with making sure resources are not overwhelmed for current and future residents because when they are, no one benefits.  

As we’ve said before, the border needs to be closed for a period of time for the Federal Government to come up with a plan to prevent not only schools but resources, from being overwhelmed.  

Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

*Email [email protected] to have your own question answered.

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