NYC Students Forced to Stay Home for ‘Remote Learning’ Day After School Was Used as Migrant Shelter

Benny Polatseck/Mayoral Photography Office via AP

The migrant crisis at the southern border has now touched every major city in America, and New York City has been particularly hard hit.

In one example of the increasingly untenable situation, NYC public school students were forced to stay home for a day of ‘remote learning’ so that migrants could be housed at their school.

On Wednesday’s show, Megyn was joined by Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) to discuss the illegal immigration crisis in the United States and why nothing is being done to fix it.

Schools as Shelters

After a storm bringing torrential rain and damaging winds blew through the northeast on Tuesday evening, migrants being housed at a tent city in Brooklyn, NY, were bused to James Madison High School in the Midwood neighborhood for safety. 

The need for the school building to be converted into an emergency shelter led administrators to notify parents late Tuesday that classes would be held remotely on Wednesday. The notice said the closure was due to “the activation of James Madison High School as a temporary overnight respite center.”

Some 1,900 asylum seekers – including families with children – reportedly spent the night sleeping on the floor of the school’s gymnasium. According to the city’s Office of Emergency Management, the migrants had been “safely returned” to their original accommodations by 4:30am Wednesday.

Despite the early departure, there was apparently not enough time to make arrangements for the students to return to school. “We find out today it’s not even remote learning – it’s just remote homework assignments,” Megyn noted. “The children have to request a Zoom with a teacher if they would like to have actual instruction in their taxpayer-funded school because the people who came to the country illegally are now in their classrooms.”

Solving the Immigration Crisis

Incidents like this are becoming increasingly common as record numbers of migrants illegally enter the U.S. Phillips called the situation an “extraordinary” and “massive failure in leadership.” The congressman said he has compassion for families looking to “flee persecution” and “find a better life” in America, but admitted the status quo is unacceptable.

Phillips said he has a plan for how to “fix” the crisis. While “border security,” “a buffer zone on both sides of the border barriers,” “better technologies,” and “completely redesigned ports of entry for both commerce and people” are all important, he said those remedies don’t address the root problem. 

In Phillips’ view, “the asylum system” is “actually responsible for the problem itself” because it requires asylum seekers to enter the U.S. “We force people who wish to declare asylum to cross our border and… spend $10,000 roughly per person… to a Mexican cartel,” he said. “They’re processed by border patrol and dumped in the streets of El Paso or somewhere else with not a penny in their pocket, the inability to work, and nowhere to go.” 

He would like to change asylum laws so that applicants are processed in their home country at the U.S. consulate or embassy and then housed in “inexpensive dormitories next door… that keep people safe temporarily” until their cases are adjudicated.

When Megyn asked why more Democrats haven’t championed a plan like that, Phillips said politics is to blame. “Politicians are focused on winning the next election,” he said. “Every single person I’ve encountered in Washington, DC, wants to stick around as long as possible.”  

That is why he believes it is time for new leadership. “Executives and those that come from the private sector like me, we want to solve problems and then turn it over to somebody else,” he concluded. “I wish we had more people in Washington that would knowingly torpedo their career to get something done.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Rep. Phillips by tuning in to episode 699 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.