Rockland County hotel barred from housing migrants at least until June in blow to NYC Mayor Adams’ relocation plan
Mayor Adams’ plan to house hundreds of migrants in a Rockland County hotel is on ice at least until next month due to a string of recent court setbacks.
The Adams administration was initially expected to start sending migrants via bus to the Armoni Inn & Suites in Rockland’s Orangetown last week, with a goal of getting some 340 asylum seekers relocated there within weeks.
Those plans were upended when Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny, a Republican, convinced a Rockland County Supreme Court judge to issue a restraining order last Tuesday barring the hotel from housing any migrants coming up from New York City.
That restraining order was set to expire Monday — but in a ruling over the weekend, Rockland County Supreme Court Justice Christie D’Alessio extended it until at least May 31.
In a separate case brought by Rockland County Executive Ed Day, also a Republican, one of D’Alessio’s colleagues on the bench, Justice Thomas Zugibe, issued another temporary restraining order late last week prohibiting Adams’ administration from sending any migrants to Armoni. Zugibe’s decision will stay in effect at least until May 30, when he ordered lawyers for Day’s office and the Adams administration to appear in court for a hearing.
Given the restraining orders, it appears unlikely Adams’ administration would bus any migrants to Armoni until June 1 at the earliest. Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said Monday the administration is not backing off its Rockland effort, but confirmed it will let the court cases play out before sending any buses to Armoni.
In another blow to Adams’ hope of sheltering migrants at Armoni, the Rockland County Department of Health on Saturday ordered the hotel to shut down operations entirely.
“This action was in direct response to the Armoni Inn operating without a valid permit that had expired,” Day wrote in a Facebook post.
Armoni can apply for its hotel permit to be renewed. It was unclear if it had done so Monday, and a lawyer for the hotel did not return a request for comment.
Adams is desperate to send migrants upstate because the city’s shelter and emergency hotel systems are at capacity, housing more than 40,000 asylum seekers, most of them from Latin America. The mayor — whose administration would pay for hotel rooms and services for the asylum seekers — has accused Republican officials upstate of fear-mongering about migrants and argued it should be incumbent on them to help the city.
In addition to the upstate initiative, Adams’ administration has opened emergency migrant shelters in several city public school gyms.
With the Rockland County initiative stalled, the mayor appears to have turned his attention elsewhere.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said over the weekend he had gotten word Adams plans to send about 100 migrant families to his Westchester County city.
Despite being a fellow Democrat, Spano blasted the Adams administration’s “sheer lack of communication and planning” around the migrant transports to his city as “unacceptable.”
“We are being told families will be housed here for at least a year, yet Yonkers is not being provided the resources on how to deal with the additional schooling, public safety, and health services needed to assist these individuals,” Spano said in a statement.
In contrast to the Rockland dilemma, the Adams administration successfully sent nearly 100 migrants to a hotel in the Orange County city of Newburgh last week.
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, a Republican, on Friday filed a lawsuit asking a state judge to block Adams from continuing the Newburgh program.