Albany, N.Y., May 17—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) today joined Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and members of the Senate Republican conference to highlight and strongly criticize the lack of leadership and transparency from state officials that has left New York communities in crisis dealing with an influx of migrants following the expiration of the Title 42 Order by the Biden Administration.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who has indicated the city is struggling to keep up with the incoming flow of migrants, announced he would begin bussing migrants to nearby Rockland and Orange Counties, despite the counties not being properly equipped with resources to handle it.
In the wake of the burgeoning migrant crisis since Title 42 expired, a number of counties across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions have declared states of emergency.
O’Mara said, “If you don’t think the migrant crisis could be headed our way across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, it’s time to take off the blindfolds. Governor Kathy Hochul and her Democrat, New York City allies in the Legislature appear ready and willing to once again override local control in a crisis and begin shipping these illegal migrants all over the state. Right now it’s the only plan on their table, besides setting aside a billion dollars and counting in state funding, to help New York City survive a crisis they have no idea how to handle. Our Republican conference believes that localities must have the ability to say no and that the state cannot displace homeless New Yorkers, families of domestic violence, or other vulnerable populations from their current places of shelter just to make room for an influx of migrants being bussed out of New York City.”
Republican senators wrote a letter (see attached copy) in the wake of her Executive Order last week that declared a State of Emergency due to the expected surge of migrants into New York State following the expiration of the Title 42 Order by the Biden Administration.
In the letter, the Senators ask for greater transparency as to where migrants will be housed, where monies are being spent, and better communication between the administration and local municipalities where migrants might be relocated.
“With that, local elected officials should have the option to decline hosting migrants in their communities should they not have the necessary accommodations and other resources. This local option is imperative to ensuring local municipalities are held harmless and are adequately prepared,” the senators wrote.
In addition, legislation has been introduced, which O’Mara will co-sponsor, to help alleviate the ongoing crisis and prevent similar chaos in the future. One measure (S.6995) would clarify that a local state of emergency supersedes a state of emergency issued by the Governor when the two are in conflict. This would restore local control and allow municipalities to make decisions in the best interests of their communities.
Another piece of legislation (S.7009) would protect vulnerable populations by prohibiting them from being ejected from a hotel, motel or shelter in order to make room for migrants.
[A copy of the letter to the Governor, signed by every member of the Senate Republican Conference, is attached above.]
[Watch today's news conference HERE.]