‘It can’t work.’ Rockland officials rip NYC plan to send migrants to Hudson Valley
The plan by New York City Mayor Eric Adams to bus hundreds of migrant men from New York City to the Hudson Valley is creating controversy across the region.
At news conference today, Rockland County Executive Ed Day (R), Rep. Mike Lawler (R-17), and other state and local officials angrily denounced the idea of sending 340 single migrant men to the Armoni Inn and Suites in Orangeburg.
Day claims they had no advance notice of the plan and had only received a phone call about it on Friday evening. Officials said the phone call was extremely vague – there was no timetable for when people would be arriving, no exact figure for how many people, and if the men had been vetted for criminal backgrounds. They also said that 340 men would increase Rockland's homeless community five-fold.
Day said what Mayor Adams is doing is "akin to human trafficking" and that’s why he enacted a 30-day state of emergency. It means that any contracts Mayor Adams has with a hotel in the county to house men who have come into the country illegally is now null and void.
County officials said they work hard with immigrants to become acclimated and pointed to the large Haitian community as an example. The lack of a plan and communication was unacceptable to Day.
“The mayor’s plan is like tossing people out into the middle of the ocean who can't swim and saying ‘go to shore.’ It can't work.”
Mayor Adams says he's sending the men to the Hudson Valley to free up space in New York City shelters as they see more immigrants using their resources. Local lawmakers released a statement saying there's nothing humanitarian about a sanctuary city sending busloads of people to a county that does not have the infrastructure to care for them.
Day was non-committal as to what would happen if a bus load showed up, but said police would be watching. However, the state of emergency says that if a hotel allows the migrants to stay, they're looking at about $2,000 per person in penalties.
Lawler pointed out that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget just allocated $1 billion in funding to help New York City with migrants, so he wondered aloud why Mayor Adams was sending people to the Hudson Valley.
Day often repeated that “New York City has declared it is a sanctuary city. Rockland County did not. Simple as that."
Meanwhile in Orange County, management at the Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh tells News 12 they are preparing for the arrival of at least 60 migrant men to arrive from New York City sometime on Wednesday.
However, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus told News 12 this morning that the county is in talks with New York City officials to hold off relocating any migrants to the Town of Newburgh. Neuhaus says the county is also “weighing its options” to ensure migrants are not housed in the county.
Adams says the city needs help from surrounding counties because the boroughs are out of room with 60,000 migrants arriving over the last year.
He says New York City will pay for the accommodations of the migrants that will be sent to the Hudson Valley and that Rockland will get less than one-fourth of 1% of the asylum seekers who have come to the city.
Adams said in a statement that he was frustrated with the response from Rockland and that, “We've been met with racist rhetoric and reprehensible threats.”
Day responded, “I think anyone who throws that card out that quickly has their own problems themselves."
Another problem Orange and Rockland leaders say they have is a lack of information. They say the city has been reactionary and difficult to get information from but Hudson Valley officials say they're going to do their best to keep this from happening.