SUNY Buffalo State University decided to expel 44 migrants from its dorms after parents voiced concern over student safety following two alleged sexual assaults by migrants.
According to The Daily Wire, the university abruptly canceled an agreement with a local community group that placed the migrants in the student housing.
“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.”
Dr. Myron Glick, Jericho Road Community Health Center’s founder and CEO, told The Buffalo News that SUNY Buffalo State had agreed to shelter migrants in dorms beginning in May because Jericho Road’s migrant shelter was over capacity.
“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 school’s decision comes after parents expressed alarm about two separate alleged sexual assaults that involved migrants in the nearby town of Cheektowaga.
“I felt compelled to speak out about this action by Buffalo State because it was discriminatory against these asylum-seekers who are human beings just like you and me,” Glick said. “We do worse by the families we are serving if we don’t speak up for them. They need to know we stand with them as fellow human beings. We cannot be silent in the face of injustice.”
Durand did not mention the alleged sexual assaults in commenting about the decision.
Authorities announced on Aug. 8 that a Venezuelan migrant was charged with raping a woman in front of a 3-year-old child. The alleged incident occurred after the suspect had traveled to Erie County from New York City.
Three days later, a second migrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo was arrested and charged with sex abuse and unlawful imprisonment for allegedly sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman who had been working with a community group to aid the migrants.
In the wake of the alleged sexual assaults, Erie County, which includes Buffalo, demanded New York City Mayor Eric Adams stop transporting migrants to the area.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the Democrat mayor “agreed and informed me they will not send any additional persons to Erie County at this time.”
The two New York officials also reportedly discussed “the need for a new and improved security plan.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office said this month that Erie County will receive more New York National Guard personnel and assets to help with the migrants. More than 1,800 National Guard members are already deployed across the state to assist with the migrant crisis, according to the governor’s office.
Approximately 540 migrants have been relocated to Erie County thus far.
Roquishia Lewis stepped in front of a row of TV cameras Monday and braced herself to talk about her only child, Tyler, who was stabbed to death in October on the University at Buffalo North Campus.