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NYC mayor offers illegal immigrants free tuition to leave the city

Nonprofit partner says nothing is finalized

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has a plan to deal with an influx of illegal immigrants – send them to a different county for free college and housing more than 100 miles away from the Big Apple.

The “Asylum Seeker Blueprint” would involve a partnership between the State University of New York Sullivan and a nonprofit called the Center for Discovery. If implemented, the plan would “offer asylum seekers the opportunity to relocate to Sullivan County, attend SUNY Sullivan Community College, live in college residence halls and earn a post-secondary credential or degree.”

“Asylum seekers will also receive workforce training through The Center for Discovery in health care, human services, hospitality, culinary, and agricultural sectors,” the blueprint stated. But the city is also working on other plans to “resettle” the illegal immigrants in other municipalities.

However, Courtney Gold, a media representative with the Center for Discovery, told The College Fix on March 30 there is currently no program. “The announcement made and the [New York Post article] were premature,” she said via email. “A possible plan is being discussed. That is all. If a plan eventually does come to fruition, we would be happy to comment – once we know the outline of that plan.”

Sullivan Community College did not respond to a request for comment from The Fix on details of the potential arrangement. The mayor’s office also did not respond to a request for comment on the cost of the program.

An expert with the Center for Immigration Studies warned about the “significant costs” that “mass immigration” imposes on taxpayers.

“[T]he Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill seem happy to continue allowing in anyone who shows up at our borders without any thought about whether we can afford to provide all of the social services that will be needed,” Jon Feere, director of investigations, told The Fix via email.

The illegal immigrant program, which the Post estimated could cost taxpayers $1.2 million, would also potentially open the city up to a requirement to provide similar benefits to legal citizens.

“Federal law explicitly limits preferential treatment of illegal aliens on the basis of residence for higher education benefits,” Feere told The Fix. “The law is clear that such individuals cannot be eligible for ‘any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit.’”

However, as previously reported by The College Fix, this part of immigration law has never been enforced. Even President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice refused to comment on its non-enforcement when asked by The Fix in 2020.

“If the DOJ actually enforced the law those states would lose, they’d be forced to either stop providing in-state tuition to illegal immigrants or get rid of increased tuition for U.S. citizens,” former DOJ attorney Hans von Spakovsky, now with the Heritage Foundation, told The Fix.

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik criticized the program in a statement to the Post. “By spending New Yorkers’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars on college classes for migrants, [Mayor Adams] is incentivizing and rewarding illegal immigration simply to export the crisis of Democrats’ own making out of New York City,” the Republican said.

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IMAGE: NYC Mayor’s Office/YouTube

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About the Author
William Biagini -- Florida State University