Clarkstown unanimously approves ban on unannounced migrant arrivals

The Clarkstown Town Board unanimously approved an amendment to a local law that bans charter bus companies from dropping off migrants without giving advanced notice at its meeting Tuesday night.

Jonathan Gordon

Feb 28, 2024, 1:21 AM

Updated 52 days ago

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The Clarkstown Town Board unanimously approved an amendment to a local law that bans charter bus companies from dropping off migrants without giving advanced notice at its meeting Tuesday night.
The law is in response to the growing number of migrants arriving in New York City from the southern border some of which are being bused to the Hudson Valley.
"As the Town is committed to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of individuals residing in and visiting the Town, the Town Board hereby determines that it is in the best interest of the Town, its employees, and its residents to establish a policy for the stopping, standing, and parking of buses/vans or chartered vehicles and the discharge of passengers within the Town," part of the law reads.
The law came after dozens of migrants were found living in life-threatening conditions at a home in the town last fall. That incident led the town to sign executive orders temporarily establishing the same restrictions on bus companies.
Clarkstown Town Supervisor George Hoehmann said he does not believe that was an isolated incident.
"We want to be comprehensive in our approach not only doing tough and strict code enforcement, but we want to make sure we're putting something in place," he said.
The law requires bus operators to apply for a drop-off in the town at least five days ahead of time, include a passenger list, and conduct background checks on all passengers. The bill also restricts drop-off hours to Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Charter bus companies would face a $750 fine per passenger plus a $5,000 fee, could have their bus impounded, or face criminal charges for violating the law.
Only two residents addressed the board on the issue Tuesday night.
"So you're not out to persecute the passengers?" one resident asked.
"Do you know if the codes that have been enacted in other places have actually been effective in keeping these incidents from occurring?" another asked.
While there were none at the meeting, local immigrant rights groups have opposed the law, calling it divisive and lacking compassion.


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