Temporary restraining order blocks 'tens of thousands' of migrants from coming to Orange County
A temporary restraining order has now blocked what officials say were plans to send tens of thousands of migrants from New York City into Orange County.
County Attorney Richard Golden said in court Tuesday that 186 migrant men are being sheltered at two hotels, the Ramada and Crossroads, in the Town of Newburgh.
The Supreme Court judge's ruling allows refugees to stay, while a lawsuit against the city plays out in court.
News 12 spoke to migrants at the Ramada who said they’re happy and relieved to be in New York after months of dangerous travel, often on foot, to get into the U.S..
“My life is America. No return to Venezuela," said one man.
The men said they were fleeing poverty and danger in their native countries in South America and Africa, and seemed to have no idea their being here has ushered a national political battle and humanitarian crisis into the Hudson Valley.
“If people were transparent from the beginning, then you wouldn’t have this chaos," said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus. "People in this area wouldn't have questionable thoughts about who’s in there because frankly, nobody knows.“
The county's top official said he was on the phone with a representative for New York City when the ruling came in and that more migrants were on the way.
“'We have seven buses,'" Neuhaus recounted, 'and we are going to be sending people up to you.' I said, 'you better check with your lawyer, the judge just made a decision.’”
City reps said they’re disappointed by the ruling and considering their legal options.
The court ruling requires that New York City provide basic information like their names and immigration status.
“You have 186 folks there that don’t have working papers, that are just going to be basically loitering around that area until New York City and the federal government can figure out what to do with them. That’s a concern,” said Neuhaus.
Migrants say caseworkers are helping them get working papers and IDs. The men could be in Newburgh for months, but county officials say ultimately, they want New York City to take them back.