Smullen: SUNY Campuses are not Responsible for Fixing New York’s Immigration Crisis

Assemblyman Robert Smullen (R,C-Mohawk Valley and the Adirondacks) wrote a letter to Gov. Hochul earlier today expressing his concerns following recent reports that the governor directed the State University of New York (SUNY) and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) to assess whether SUNY campuses may be used as housing options for the recent influx of undocumented migrants arriving in our state from the U.S.-Mexico border. Smullen’s letter—co-signed by all 48 members of the Assembly Minority Conference representing six million plus New Yorkers—asserts that SUNY campuses should not be responsible for housing thousands of undocumented illegal migrants as a result of poor planning and the lack of preparation on the part of the Governor.

“The idea that the SUNY system should be subjected to cleaning up after the Governor’s monumental mess with regard to the migrant crisis is ridiculous,” said Smullen. “State Majority handling of this crisis thus far has consisted of establishing an open-door policy for migrant families seeking asylum, but the state has already run out of space and resources to offer. Now, the governor is turning to SUNY campuses to create much-needed space with little regard for how this will affect students currently attending and staff currently teaching at these campuses.”

Smullen is also concerned about protecting SUNY students’ safety, security and welfare should migrants without any documentation arrive on SUNY campuses—the federal immigration policies backed by the Biden Administration have failed to establish background checks, health screenings or any form of extensive vetting for incoming migrants. This lack of information could very easily turn into a dangerous situation for students living on SUNY grounds.

“SUNY students did not ask for the governor to consider sending thousands of undocumented, unmonitored migrants to their schools. We do not know anything about these people—their background, their history, their health or anything else. Is that a risk the Governor is truly willing to take? The duty of SUNY schools as well as the state is first to the students and their safety. These students have paid to attend and live on safe college campuses, and it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that students are not forced to live among illegal migrants who very well could pose a risk to their safety—there are simply too many unknowns,” concluded Smullen.

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read Assemblyman Robert Smullen’s letter to Gov. Hochul, please click here.