Hochul issues emergency order for migrant crisis
ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul issued an executive order late Tuesday to bolster the state's efforts to help New York City with an influx of asylum-seekers as a federal border policy is set to expire later this week.
The move by the Democratic governor comes as the New York City suburbs are in an uproar over Mayor Eric Adams' plan to move at least 400 migrants from the city to vacant hotels in Rockland and Orange counties, drawing criticism and vows of defiance from local leaders.
Hochul said the order will allow the state to bring as many as 500 additional National Guard members to help the city, which has seen more than 57,000 migrants come to the five boroughs since last spring. It will also allow the state to procure equipment and housing for the newcomers.
The city and the state are preparing for another wave of migrants when the federal Title 42 immigration policy lifts.
"It is a crisis situation, especially with the suspension of Title 42 on Thursday," Hochul told reporters Tuesday on Long Island. "It's no surprise that there will literally be thousands of more individuals coming across the border and ultimately finding their way to the state of New York."
Hochul's order might also seek to quell frustration in the suburbs after Adams' announcement Friday that he would look to move some migrants to other counties to alleviate overcrowding and strained city resources.
The Republican county executives in Orange and Rockland issued state of emergency orders that will try to bar hotels from contracting with the city to house migrants, setting up a showdown among local governments.
Hochul seemed Tuesday to try to calm the fervor, suggesting she would work to find new locations, perhaps state-owned facilities, for the asylum-seekers in the city or with municipalities willing to accept them.
"We are in communication with the mayor’s team and also helping him find locations within the city limits, opening up state property and talking to other counties that are interested in having people come," she told reporters when asked about the counties' concerns.
The state budget approved last week included $1 billion to help the city with the surge as Adams has urged more outside resources, criticizing the federal government for not doing more.
Hochul said that the state had already deployed about 1,000 members of the National Guard to help the city, and the executive order will allow the state more easily buy food and supplies for the migrants.
She said one of the main obstacles is getting the migrants the approvals necessary to start working legally. She noted that farmers in New York, in particular, need about 5,000 more workers.
"The number one priority for those here is to be able to get a job," Hochul said. "We want them to get employment, but there's constraint at the federal level as far as their designation."