New York City is suing 30 New York counties, municipalities, and elected officials for using executive orders to prevent the city from hosting migrants within their borders, a tactic the city’s attorneys claim is illegal under multiple statutes.
To lodge the thousands of refugees who have poured into the city since last spring, Mayor Adams filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Adams has sought out many solutions due to the overflowing homeless shelters, hotels, and emergency relief centers, one of which has been diverting migrants to hotels north of the city to comply with the city’s right-to-shelter ordinance.
Adams announced that his government would transport migrants to motels in Orange and Rockland counties last month.
These counties were the first to issue executive orders to halt the plan.
Since then, numerous additional counties and municipalities have adopted comparable orders.
Mayor Adams labeled the executive orders “xenophobic bigotry” while announcing the lawsuit, and Sylvia Hinds-Radix, the city’s corporation attorney, called them “misguided and unlawful.”
“Over the past weeks, we have been involved in litigation from some counties. Over 30 New York counties are trying to block our response to this statewide emergency by closing their borders through issuing executive orders,” Hinds-Radix said during a press briefing Wednesday.
“These counties have implemented misguided and unlawful executive orders premised on false claims that the prospect of a few hundred asylum seekers sheltered at the city’s expense across multiple counties constitutes an emergency and imperils the public safety.”
Hinds-Radix said that the executive orders violate federal immigration law, state human rights legislation, state social services law, and U.S. law. The counties impede the city’s “lawful” efforts to solve the current situation. Constitution.
“We believe the city has acted lawfully and that these localities cannot legally wall off their borders during this statewide crisis,” she stated.
In its lawsuit, the city claims that the county executive orders are “an abuse of discretion” and asks the court to declare them “null and void.”
Suffolk, Putnam, Dutchess, Onondaga, Broome, Niagara, and several other counties and their county executives are among the defendants.
Hinds-Radix referenced Gov. Hochul’s executive order designating the migrant crisis as a state of emergency during Wednesday’s City Hall press conference.
Still, she would not say with certainty whether Hochul’s government will support the city in its lawsuit. The identical question elicited no instant response from Hochul’s representatives.
The city anticipates that more than 72,000 asylum seekers have entered the town since last spring and that within a year, the expense of providing for them would exceed $4 billion.
Adams has implemented several strategies to deal with the problem, such as using public school gyms as shelters and limiting the city’s right-to-shelter ordinance, which obliges the city to offer refuge to everyone who requests it.
The city filed a separate complaint on Wednesday, asking the state courts to clarify the right to shelter law, just a few weeks before initiating the current action. The city asked the state Supreme Court to suspend the statute in that brief, citing the current migrant crisis, because the city “lacks the resources and capacity to maintain sufficient shelter sites, staffing, and security.”
According to Hinds-Radix, the Callahan consent decree, which essentially made the right to shelter a legal requirement, is not why the city needs to house migrants in hotels outside the city.