Buffalo’s state university abruptly decided to kick out dozens of illegal immigrants from its dorms this weekend after parents sounded the alarm over student safety in light of two alleged sexual assaults involving migrants.
The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo is evicting 44 migrants following a sudden decision to cancel an agreement with a local community group that placed them in the dorms.
“As we are welcoming our students back to campus Tuesday, we wanted to ensure the best possible learning environment for our students and smooth functioning of our university operations,” Buffalo State President Bonita Durand said in a statement.
“I made the difficult decision to discontinue the revocable permit and want to reassure our university community that as our students return to campus Tuesday they will find their learning environment as they expected,” she said.
Buffalo State had agreed to allow illegal immigrants to live in the dorms starting in May because Jericho Road Community Health Center’s migrant shelter was at capacity, said Jericho Road’s founder and CEO, Dr. Myron Glick.
“We live in a community where there’s prejudice,” Glick told the Buffalo News. “And this decision was made, really, in my opinion, as – what’s the right word? – in reaction to that prejudice.”
The decision comes after parents expressed worries about two alleged sexual assaults involving migrants that occurred earlier this month in the town of Cheektowaga, about a 15-minute drive from downtown Buffalo.
Durand did not refer to the separate sexual assault incidents in discussing the decision.
On August 8, authorities announced that a migrant from Venezuela was charged with raping a woman in front of a 3-year-old child. The alleged incident occurred on Wednesday, after the suspect had come to Erie County through New York City, which was reportedly paying for his upstate hotel room.
Three days after the first migrant was charged, a second migrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo was arrested for sexual assault. The second migrant was charged with sex abuse and unlawful imprisonment after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 27-year-old woman who was working with a community agency to provide services to the migrants.
Both migrants charged with sexual assault had arrived in the town of Cheektowaga just east of Buffalo before they were arrested.
After the alleged sexual assaults came to light, Erie County, which includes Buffalo, demanded that New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams stop sending illegal migrants to the area.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Adams “agreed and informed me they will not send any additional persons to Erie County at this time. We also discussed the need for a new and improved security plan.”
So far, about 540 migrants have been transported to Erie County.
Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul’s office also said this month that Erie County will receive more New York National Guard personnel and assets to assist with the migrants. More than 1,800 National Guard members are already helping with the migrant crisis across the state, the governor’s office said.
Meanwhile, New York City is approaching a breaking point as it tries to metabolize the tens of thousands of illegal migrants who have streamed into the city over the past year.
Since April of last year, more than 90,000 migrants have arrived in New York City. As of last month, about 55,000 are still being housed on the city’s dime, causing New York’s homeless shelters to hit capacity.
The city has already poured $1.2 billion into helping the migrants since last summer.