Vanessa Cid, community organizer with the grassroots group For the Many, said the migrant situation in New York has been misrepresented.
“These aren't people that are coming here trying to hurt us," she said. "They're over here seeking asylum. They're coming here for a better life, for us to do that. I think it's just fueling more of the bigotry that's already out there.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams says more than 50,000 migrants have arrived in the city over the past year, looking for housing and work. Part of the solution has been busing them into upstate counties.
That directive has led Rockland County Executive Ed Day to declare a state of emergency. Day said a plan from the city to house about 340 men at a hotel in Rockland would violate local laws, and there hasn’t been cooperation between the county, city and state.
What You Need To Know
- NYC Mayor Eric Adams says the city has seen more than 50,000 migrants arrive in the five boroughs
- Rockland County declared a state of emergency after they say they discovered the city's plan to bus 340 migrant men to a hotel in the county
- Rockland County Executive Ed Day says the county has received no communication from the city or state
“It is only draining taxpayer resources from the families who are already here and struggling, including our homeless or low-income or disabled seniors and our other vulnerable populations,” Day said.
Cid said that municipalities must respond and not turn people away, and that the focus should be on lawmakers to pass legislation that will ease the burden locally.
“Two of the priorities that our governor should take upon herself is the housing access voucher program and good cost eviction," she said. "Because how are we going to be able to welcome anyone new when our own communities are also struggling? We need to make sure that we're all protected.”
New York Republican Rep. Mike Lawler said he's working with California Democratic Representative Robert Garcia on a bipartisan group to address the challenges of the migrant crisis.
Until they do, Day said Rockland simply cannot handle the 340 people.
“We are not equipped to humanely shift these individuals, which eventually we're going to have to do," he said. "But we do not have the infrastructure to do so. And our social service commissioner spoke to that many times in the past.”