‘This issue is going to get worse.’ Officials warn immigration crisis far from over in the Hudson Valley, despite state of emergencies  

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus ordered local hotels not to house asylum-seekers being sent to the county by leaders of New York City on Monday.

Blaise Gomez

May 9, 2023, 9:54 AM

Updated 350 days ago

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The impact of New York’s immigration crisis is far from over in the Hudson Valley, despite states of emergencies issued in Rockland and Orange counties to temporarily stop asylum seekers from coming.   Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said in a Facebook address Tuesday morning that the issue is expected to worsen in coming days and weeks, citing a Trump-era immigration policy, somewhat limiting the flow of migrants seeking asylum, that’s set to expire next month.
He also said that New York City’s now apparently defunct plans to send 60 migrants to Orange County was just the beginning.
“What I’ve found out in the last 24 hours is that a number of hotels in our county have already either made agreements or have been approached by New York City to take hundreds more. That’s not the right way to do things,” said Neuhaus.
On Monday, the county followed Rockland’s bold step – issuing a state of emergency to block the expected arrival of 60 asylum seekers from New York City at the Crossroads Hotel in the town of Newburgh.
Neuhaus says there were concerns about long-term plans and whether migrants were vetted. 
“It tells the hotels here do not accept any of these asylum seekers and that’s the way it’s going to be. I’ll renew that emergency plan when it expires a month from now until we figure out what this federal government, the state and city are going to do,” said Neuhaus.
New York City is dealing with a serious immigration and housing crisis involving more than 60,000 asylum seekers. The state included $1 billion for migrant aid in the budget that passed this month.
Mayor Eric Adams’ office says the feds also need to step up, and that they had hoped neighboring counties would help.
Advocates say Orange County was ready.
“Interfaith groups, community members were all ready to help migrants and then in a 180, ‘no we’re going to do a state of emergency.’ That’s insulting. That’s unfortunate and that’s not how we should be treating human beings,” said Orange County Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan.
Aaron Narraph Fernando, with the nonprofit Newburgh group For the Many said by statement, “This week, asylum seekers will find themselves in the middle of a dangerous political game. Mayor Eric Adams and County Executives Steve Neuhaus and Ed Day are engaging in the same tactics as far-right governors by using fear-mongering rhetoric as justification to reject them.”
Neuhaus says Orange County is open-minded and pro-immigration but cited a lack of planning as the main concern behind the state of emergency.
A representative for Rep. Pat Ryan says federal officials are actively discussing immigration reform and that the critical issue could come up for a vote as soon as Thursday.   


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