Infuriated lawmakers blasted Mayor Eric Adams’ plan to make taxpayers send migrants to college upstate for free — especially while Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to sock SUNY and CUNY students with tuition hikes.
“[Hochul] is proposing tuition hikes for students who live here and now these same bureaucrats are going to turn around and grant free room and board because the elected officials from sanctuary cities can’t handle the influx of immigrants,” said state Sen. Robert Ortt (R-Lockport).
“No thank you,” the Minority Leader added.
Adams plans to provide as many as 100 migrants with 12 months of classes and room and board at the State University of New York’s Sullivan Community College in the Catskills, which could turn into a permanent program.
The experimental program alone could cost over $1.2 million.
At the same time, Hochul has proposed giving the state and city university systems the authority to boost tuition by up to 3% a year over five years for largely lower-income New Yorkers.
SUNY’s flagship research colleges such as Stony Brook and Buffalo could boost tuition by up to 6% a year under the governor’s plan.
Tuition was last raised in 2019.
And while many students are eligible for free tuition or subsidized tuition — they still must pay the full freight for room and board.
“This is robbing Peter to pay Paul. It’s unconscionable to even entertain this idea — our state is not flushed with cash and the economy is in crisis,” Ortt said.
Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-Jamestown) — who is also the state Republican Party chairman — called the freebies for migrants “outrageous.”
“Thanks to New York’s sanctuary policies, hard-working citizens are forced to foot the bill for posh hotels, college education and flat-screen TVs for illegal immigrants when they can’t even afford these items themselves under New York’s crushing tax burden,” he said.
“Secure the damn border and stop this nonsense,” Langworthy added.
Meanwhile, CUNY insiders were scratching their heads that the mayor overlooked their campuses in his own backyard in favor of a SUNY school in Sullivan County.
“It’s a very out-of-left-field program. He couldn’t work something out with a program for migrants with one of the CUNY community colleges? All the CUNY community colleges have adult education programs,” one CUNY source said.
The CUNY source said Adams’ proposal was particularly baffling given that nearly all the migrants are Spanish-speaking and CUNY has bilingual programs specifically to help non-English immigrant students.
“These are Spanish-speaking people. Hostos Community College in the Bronx was founded as a bilingual school,” the source said.
Hochul’s office declined comment on Adams’ plan. CUNY had no immediate comment.