In New York City’s ongoing efforts to deal with the largest humanitarian crisis in city history, Mayor Eric Adams announced in a statement on Friday, May 5th, that the city will begin housing asylum-seeking migrants in suburban Rockland County, about a 40-minute drive from New York City.
In his statement, Mayor Adams said, “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. With a vacuum of leadership, we are now being forced to undertake our own decompression strategy. 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. New York City continues to step up and handle this crisis, and this new program is an extension of our compassionate response, but these actions do not mean we still don’t need urgent action, including a national decompression strategy, financial resources, expedited work authorization, and real immigration reform from Congress.”
New York City has received almost 70,000 migrants in the past year with over 37,500 in the shelter system. The Adams administration has contracted 122 hotels as emergency shelters and is also currently operating eight Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Response Centers.
The volunteer program will shelter single adult male migrants currently in the city’s shelter system for four months at two hotels. The hotels are located in Orange Lake and Orangeburg. The city may add additional hotels as migrants continue to enter New York. The migrants will receive the same support and services provided at shelters and Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Response Centers in New York City including meals, laundry services, and support from community and faith-based groups to help with their transition to the new towns.
In the last two weeks, New York City has seen an increase in migrants being bussed from Texas. The upcoming expiration of Title 42 on May 11th has caused an influx of migrants crossing the border into Texas as well as thousands of migrants congregating on the Mexican side of the border preparing to illegally cross into the United States.
Mayor Adams and his administration are bracing for a surge of migrants from Texas once Title 42 expires. Governor Greg Abbott has already announced he will be bussing more migrants to New York City and other sanctuary cities.
Congressman Mike Lawler told the NY Post, “This is not a partisan issue…There is a real strain on food banks, shelters, and our non-profits….these additional arrivals may send them under.”
The plan to house migrants in nearby Rockland County has not been received well by Ed Day, the County Executive for Rockland County. In an interview with the NY Post, Day said, “I find it remarkable that the mayor of New York, who declared New York City a sanctuary city, now admits he’s bit off more than he can chew…Rockland County is not prepared to handle this.”
Over the weekend, Day went a step further declaring a State of Emergency for Rockland County and deploying the police department to stop any buses filled with migrants from New York City. The emergency order bars all municipalities in Rockland County from housing migrants, establishes a licensing requirement for all hotels, and imposes a $2,000-per-day, per-immigrant fine to hotels that house migrants from New York City.
“Right now, our state of emergency is in effect. We have law enforcement deployed in various areas of the county, ready to react to anything that comes up to this county. This is not about immigrants and about children and about being kind or being good,” he said. There is a legitimate process to do that,” says Day.
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