(NEW YORK) — Officials representing some New York suburbs have rebuked New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ plan to send migrants to their towns for shelter.
Rockland County’s top official declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to Adams’ plan to send 340 adult male migrants to live at an Armoni Inn and Suites in Orangeburg, New York, for four months.
“The City declared itself a Sanctuary City in December of 2016 committing itself to supporting undocumented individuals while this County has not, for the simple fact that we are one-tenth the population of New York City and incapable of receiving and sustaining the volume of undocumented migrants Mayor Eric Adams intends to send over,” County executive Edwin Day said.
Rockland County is located close to 40 miles northwest of New York City and is near the Hudson River.
On Friday, Adams announced he was sending migrants to neighboring New York counties in response to the rising numbers of asylum seekers arriving in the city, which is reportedly overwhelming the city’s shelter system.
“Despite calling on the federal government for a national decompression strategy since last year, and for a decompression strategy across the state, New York City has been left without the necessary support to manage this crisis,” Adams said in a press release. “With a vacuum of leadership, we are now being forced to undertake our own decompression strategy.”
Adding, “This new, voluntary program will provide asylum seekers with temporary housing, access to services, and connections to local communities as they build a stable life in New York state.”
Adams’ announcement came nearly a week before the Trump-era Title 42 border policy is set to expire
Title 42 is a pandemic-era public health order that allows the U.S. to expel migrants without them being allowed to apply for asylum.
The policy, which is expected to end Thursday, has been implemented more than 2.8 million times to remove migrants since March 2020.
Teresa Kenny, supervisor for Orangetown, which is in Rockland County, served a notice of violation to Armoni Inn and Suites after the town’s fire inspector and assistant building inspector observed that the hotel was “essentially” turning into a shelter, which violated the hotel’s certificate of occupancy.
Officials from Orange County and Newburgh also criticized the mayor’s decision, while blasting the federal government for its “failed immigration policy and inability to control the border.”
“It is clear that the immigration crisis created by the federal government has negatively impacted Orange County,” Orange County executive Steven Neuhaus and Town of Newburgh supervisor Gil Piaquadio said in a statement. “It is a self-induced problem created by lack of planning and continues to burden our taxpayers.”
In a statement to ABC News, Adams’ press secretary Fabien Levy said New York City has taken care of over 61,000 migrants without any issues and that elected officials in New York and other parts of the country should “do their part and emulate the humane and compassionate approach New York City has taken over the past year,” until the federal government provides support.
“The Rockland County executive has sadly already shown he is not a leader this state needs,” Levy said. “Instead, we’ve been met with racist rhetoric and reprehensible threats from the head of a county that will be tasked with caring for less than one-fourth of 1% of the asylum seekers who have come to New York City, and, once again, New York would be paying for shelter, food, and services.”
City officials also pushed back against claims that over 340 asylum seekers would be going to Rockland County, saying that it’s up to 300 people and it would be split between two counties.
Since April 2022, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has bused thousands of migrants from the Texas-Mexico border to Democrat-led cities across the country, including New York City, citing a need to secure the border after claiming the Biden administration isn’t doing so.
The Biden administration has criticized Abbott’s bussing of migrants, calling his decision to send migrants in subfreezing temperatures to Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence last year a politically motivated “stunt.”
In September, Adams called for “coordination” with the federal government and Republican governors over the busing and flying of migrants to the city, saying that New York City’s system was “nearing its breaking point.”
Adams said last year that New York City was managing the flow and influx of asylum seekers without help from state or federal officials.
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