Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced the arrival of fourteen immigrant families during a press conference today. In total, 34 individuals-predominantly women and children-are now residing at the Ramada Inn on Tuckahoe Road. This is part of an initiative by neighboring New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams who wishes to offload some of the burden his city has been under since Texas began bussing asylum-seekers last year.
Mayor Spano called for collaboration between Yonkers, New York state, and New York City to secure funding that will cover the necessary services for the immigrant families. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach to address the needs of these individuals.
Yonkers City Council President Lakisha Collins-Bellamy expressed the city’s support for welcoming diverse communities. She highlighted that Yonkers itself is a city of immigrants. However, she also stressed the importance of financial contributions from the state and NYC to ensure that resources such as healthcare and education are readily available to the asylum seekers.
No child left behind
While there are no school-age children among the arrivals at the moment, Spano said that this could change. He noted the importance of providing appropriate educational services, particularly for children who have limited English proficiency and lack formal education.
Superintendent of Schools Edwin M. Quezada confirmed that the Yonkers school system has reached out to the state education department to secure funding to provide support services for both school-age and pre-school-age immigrant children. The city’s responsibility to children begins at age four, and they are committed to fulfilling their obligations.
Mayor Spano called out the opportunities available to immigrant adults in Yonkers and advocated for funding to cover the additional costs associated with these services. He stressed the importance of a holistic approach to address the needs of both children and adults. Similarly, during a press conference yesterday, Westchester County Executive George Latimer outlined his own plan to address this problem both pragmatically and compassionately.
The relocation of immigrants to suburban areas like Yonkers reflects the magnitude of the global immigration crisis. Spano urged the nation to confront this global issue and find comprehensive solutions.