Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel has declared a State of Emergency that bars housing additional immigrants in the county.
Wendel said the order is in response to New York City’s announced intentions to send migrants and asylum seekers to other counties in the state.
State Senator George Borrello also sent out a statement opposing Governor Kathy Hochul‘s proposal to house migrants at SUNY Schools, saying, “I don’t believe her when the Governor says housing migrants at SUNY campuses is a temporary solution. Migrants processed into the U.S. as asylum seekers earlier this week were given immigration court dates more than a decade away. Once these migrants are brought to SUNY campuses, neither the Governor nor anyone else knows how long they will be there.”
Borrello went on to say that communities that never declared themselves as sanctuary communities shouldn’t be forced to accept migrants.
The County Executive said in a press release, “In December 2016, New York City declared itself a Sanctuary City dedicated to supporting undocumented individuals. Over the past several months, thousands of asylum seekers have been arriving in the City, which is now so overwhelmed that it is trying to move these individuals to other counties that do not have the infrastructure to care for them, especially since social services funding is not available to undocumented individuals. While we support the families who have already migrated to our County, we lack the services and funding required to assist additional individuals.”
The state of emergency was issued Thursday, May 18 and remains in effect for 30 days, at which time it may be extended.
The order prohibits other municipalities from bringing and housing people in the County, prohibits hotels and motels from housing immigrants without a license, and requires any municipalities that might bring migrating or asylum-seeking people into Chautauqua County to ensure they will be fully cared for and paid for.
Chautauqua County joins other counties in New York State with issuing these emergency orders including most of Western New York, excluding Erie County, as well as Broome, Nassau, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Oswego, Rockland, and Suffolk counties.