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Unfair evictions

New York Teacher

As we enter the coldest months of the year, many asylum-seeking families who endured great hardship to reach New York City are facing additional trauma as Mayor Eric Adams’ administration prepares to evict them from emergency shelters.

Under a new 60-day limit, the mayor began to notify 2,700 families in late October that they must reapply for shelter or find alternative housing as early as Dec. 27. In early December, amid the uproar, the administration announced the evictions would be postponed until after New Year’s Day.

The mayor’s eviction policy will upend the lives of thousands of school children midyear. It will likely lead to more absences and midyear transfers to new schools since there is no guarantee that families would remain in the same shelter, or even the same borough, if they reapply.

Uprooting families during winter and interrupting children’s educational progress is unconscionable. Many of these children had gaps in their education before arriving in New York City, and they cannot afford to lose more ground.

Newcomer parents and children have forged bonds and built trust with educators and other school staff. Our school communities have welcomed them and eased their transition by providing warm clothing, snacks and hot meals, tutoring, family workshops and more.

The mayor must reverse this inhumane decision so the city does not inflict more trauma on these vulnerable families.

Related Topics: Immigrant Rights