Officials in New York City intend to relocate some asylum seekers to a hotel in a nearby suburb despite vehement opposition from local authorities and a judge’s temporary injunction prohibiting using another hotel.
By announcing Friday that the city would transfer up to 300 single, adult men to two motels in suburban Rockland County and neighboring Orange County for up to four months, Mayor Eric Adams incited outrage in the city’s northern neighborhoods.
The Democratic mayor’s proposal comes when the city struggles to deal with an influx of roughly 60,000 asylum seekers since last spring, many of whom were bused into the city by out-of-state governors.
The government promised to give the guys services and food. Local officials accused Adams of bussing out asylum seekers without adequately informing the towns where they were headed—exactly what he had alleged governors were doing to the city.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny said, “It was a sneak attack in the dark of night.”
A pandemic-era policy that allowed for the expulsion of many migrants ends Thursday, and communities across the country are preparing for a spike in migrants requesting asylum.
As the litigation progresses, the Armoni Inn and Suites cannot accept asylum seekers, according to Kenny, who claimed that her Rockland County municipality obtained a temporary restraining order.
Additionally, there have been emergency declarations in Orange and Rockland counties to prevent hotels or motels from hosting migrants.
The hotel’s operating authorization expired on April 30, according to Rockland County Executive Ed Day, who also announced that the county was considering its legal action.
The Armoni Inn was contacted for comment.
Despite the difficulties, New York City officials want to carry out at least some of the plan on Wednesday by sending “a small number of asylum seekers” to Orange County, according to a prepared statement from Adams spokesperson Fabien Levy.
Levy added, “We’ll let the hotel decide how to proceed in Rockland County.” He said, “We need the federal government to step up, but until they do, we need other elected officials around the state and country to do their part.”
He did not go into additional detail about the transfer.
Officials from Orange County named the Crossroads Hotel in the Town of Newburgh their neighborhood hotel, roughly 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of the city.
Day, a Republican, argued that the city’s unilateral pursuit of an ill-conceived plan that would tax local resources was the cause of local opposition, while Levy charged that Day, a Republican, had failed to act with “humane and compassionate care.”
According to Camille Mackler, executive director of Immigrant ARC, a consortium of legal service providers, officials at all levels of government should take responsibility for a chaotic and ineffective response.
Instead of using people’s lives as political pawns, she added, “We need to have a better-coordinated response that centers the humanity and dignity of everyone involved.”
Some migrants, mostly families with children, have already been housed in the city by the Adams administration utilizing hotels.
Plans to shelter additional people at locations, such as a cruise ship dock and a Bronx beach parking lot, have been scrapped.