NYC parent advocacy group outlines how migrant crisis is overwhelming schools’ trauma resources

A leader of a New York City parent advocacy group outlined the “devastating impact” the migrant crisis has had on the Big Apple’s already overburdened school district in congressional testimony Tuesday.

Danyela Souza Egorov, project director of ParentPowerEDNY, told lawmakers the country’s ruthless southern border makes victims of many migrant children, and New York City schools are increasingly ill-equipped to deal with victims on such a large scale.

Danyela Souza Egorov told congress New York City schools are struggling to deal with the “devastating impact” of the more than 30,000 migrant children who have flooded the city’s school system since the migrant crisis began. William C Lopez/New York Post

“Our southern border is now considered by the UN the deadliest land route for migrants in history as it has been recorded. No child should be at that border. No child should be crossing that border alone,” Ergorov said.

Ergorov said after the journey many of the children arrivin the Big Apple and enroll in school with unresolved trauma. It’s estimated there are over 30,000 migrant children now in the the city, she said.

“They all end up in our schools, and we don’t have the staff or the necessary infrastructure to deal with all the problems that this crisis is creating,” Ergorov said.

Since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, US Customs and Border Protection has found nearly half a million unaccompanied “alien” children at the country’s southern border, subcommittee chair and Florida Rep. Aaron Bean said during the hearing.

Sheena Rodriguez, president of Alliance for a Safe Texas, testified the migrant crisis is creating “complex and costly needs” in Lone Star State schools too.

“The grim negative impact of the border crisis on public schools reaches far beyond the quality of education and financial strain,” Rodriguez said. “Many public schools and communities have become hotbeds of criminal activity, recruitment exploitation and death caused at the hands of emboldened cartel-affiliated gangs preying on our youth.”

Since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has found nearly half a million unaccompanied children at the country’s southern border. AP

But Amalia Chamorro, education policy director at UnidosUS, the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the country, said educating immigrant children is a “smart economic investment.”

“Research shows that their motivation to success contributes to classroom environments that benefit all students,” Chamorro said.

Chamorro, who immigrated to the US from Peru when she was 9, said “inaccurate and misleading narratives” were hijacking the discussion and deepening divisions around migrant students.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1982 ruled that states can’t constitutionally deny students a free education on account of their immigration status. REUTERS

“Immigrant students are a significant asset in our schools. They are known for their resilience, grit and problem-solving skills. These are all characteristics that are critical for 21st century learning, ensuring the nations economic advantage,” Chamorro said.

Chamorro also pointed out to the committee that inviting immigrants into the country’s school system is “settled law.”

In 1982, the US Supreme Court ruled in Pyler v. Doe that states can’t constitutionally deny students a free education based on their immigration status.

Chamorro called on Congress to pass bipartisan immigration legislation.

“The responsibility lies with congress – not our schools – to fix this,” Chamorro said.

On Tuesday, Biden signed an executive order to temporarily shut down asylum requests once the average number of daily encounters tops 2,500 between official ports of entry, which it currently does.

But the executive order has some exceptions for unaccompanied children. 

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