Inside the Illegal Immigrant Situation at James Madison High School
State of the Union: America’s migrant problem is growing worse by the day.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, January 9, the parents of James Madison High School in Brooklyn were notified that their children would be pivoting to remote learning the next day. Why? An oncoming storm was threatening a shelter housing thousands of illegal migrants. Nearly 2,000 of these undocumented people would be spending the night at James Madison High School.
In August, the Biden administration gave New York permission to house over 2,500 migrants and asylum seekers at Floyd Bennett Field, a historic airplane runway. The “shelter” in question, however, is just a cluster of large tents, which are not even properly secured—putting stakes into the ground is forbidden, but cramming thousands of illegal aliens on the airway is completely fine, according to the nonexistent logic of our federal overlords.
Students hate online learning, and it hurts their academic performance. Yet many outlets are not choosing the correct group to portray as victims in this situation. The New York Times highlighted the hardships of the migrants in their coverage of the story, throwing the worries and concerns of New Yorkers—actual American citizens—to the side. One of the migrants they interviewed said, “Our kids are asking us why they brought us here, and we tell them because they have to repair the tents…. The life of a migrant is hard.”
Nevertheless, the community surrounding James Madison High School (which is in a notably red district of blue Brooklyn) would not be silenced. Parents rallied outside the school on Wednesday, calling out the city and the school for putting the migrants, who had been moved back to Floyd Bennett Field at that point, before their children. One parent said, “Our kids are supposed to be here, feeling safe, and be able to learn.”
Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, a Republican, deemed the operation “unacceptable.”
“Our public schools are meant to be places of learning and growth for our children, and were never intended to be shelters or facilities for emergency housing,” she said.
Get daily emails in your inbox
Mayor Adams’s office has said that over 160,000 migrants have arrived in New York City since the middle of 2022. Back in September, the Mayor himself declared, “Let me tell you something, New Yorkers: never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to—I don’t see an ending to this…. This issue will destroy New York City.” And indeed, it might. 2023 was a record year for illegal immigration into the United States. But can this story reinvigorate interest in solving this nationwide problem?
Hopefully. Already, high-profile figures like Sen. J.D. Vance and Elon Musk have discussed the James Madison story on social media. Perhaps the reason for this is because, contrary to what the New York Times may say, the needs of young students were sacrificed in favor of thousands of criminals.
This event serves as a microcosm of the migrant crisis in America; will the fact that thousands of immigrants were simultaneously and blatantly favored over thousands of American children be enough to sway the narrative? Or will politicians who are too weak, inept, or stubborn to intervene continue to let the country go down this path?