Garnar declares State of Emergency over potential migrant relocation from New York City
BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- With the expiration of Title 42 looming, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar declared a State of Emergency regarding the potential relocation of asylum seekers from New York City to Broome County Thursday.
Garnar, a Democrat, said NYC may try to move large groups of migrants to counties upstate. He said the State of Emergency was declared due to Broome County lacking available housing.
Title 42, a measure that allowed authorities to send asylum seekers back over the county’s southern border with Mexico over concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to expire at midnight.
According to the State of Emergency, the county is currently experiencing a housing crisis due to the limited number of temporary and permanent housing. The declaration said the county cannot sustain any number of migrants or asylum seekers.
“The limited resources we have are for Broome County residents first and foremost,” Garnar said. “We do not have the capacity to take on large groups of people should they arrive in our community.”
This declaration states it was signed in the interest of public safety and will last for 30 days or until it’s rescinded by a subsequent order. It’s effective immediately.
An associated emergency order stated that municipalities from outside of Broome County are barred from makings contracts with hotels, motels and more without a permit issued by the county and vice versa. Hotels and dwellings are prohibited to contract with outside municipalities upon receiving a permit as well.
Any entity found in violation of the emergency order will be charged with a misdemeanor, the order states.
Representative Marc Molinaro (R, NY19) said all elected officials should work compassionately to address the migrant crisis.
“Moving migrants to Upstate New York without notice, resources, or approval is inhumane, illegal, and will put tremendous strain on services in the Southern Tier,” he said in a statement. “County Executive Garnar was right to take action and today I voted to support Broome County by passing a commonsense border security and immigration package.”
Garnar said his office is working with the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, local municipalities, hospitals, schools and other agencies that could be impacted by the arrival of asylum seekers. Sheriff Fred Akshar, a Republican, stood beside him during Thursday’s news conference.
The declaration and the emergency order can be read by following this link.
Meanwhile, Tioga County Legislative Chairwoman Martha Sauerbrey also declared a State of Emergency, stating the same reasons for Garnar declaring the State of Emergency in Broome County. Likewise, the State of Emergency is expected to last for around a month.
Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss declared a State of Emergency on Wednesday regarding the issue. Moss said Chemung County does not have the resources, including housing, clothing, medical care and food, to sustain an influx of asylum seekers.
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