Dutchess County hopes to slow influx of asylum seekers with state of emergency

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Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Dutchess County hopes to slow influx of asylum seekers
Dutchess County declared a state of emergency over the asylum seeker crisis as busloads of migrants have been sent north from New York City.

POUGHKEEPSIE, New York (WABC) -- As New York City continues its attempt to address the influx of asylum seekers, two more counties north of the city have declared state of emergencies, trying to slow down the arrival of migrants there.

The Red Roof Inn is the latest Hudson Valley hotel now housing asylum seekers, which include 86 men relocated from New York City.

On Friday, Dutchess County declared a state of emergency, echoing the same complaints made by elected officials in surrounding suburban counties.

"Communication and coordination with New York City has been significantly lacking, and I think I'm being kind there, actually it's been non-existent," Dutchess County Executive William O'Neil said.

The Adams administration continues its plan to deal with the influx of migrants arriving in New York City by sending busloads north.

Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul are calling for expedited work authorization for the asylum seekers coming to New York City.

City Hall, which says it will spend $1.4 billion by July, is paying housing and food costs for at least four months, but leaders in Dutchess say the county is ill-equipped to integrate the asylum seekers should they stay long term.

"I'm dealing with a housing crisis, you do realize our vacancy rate on apartments in Dutchess County is less than 1%, so there are virtually no apartments to put these people in," O'Neil said.

Some of the men now in Dutchess County were relocated over the weekend from Sullivan County because the hotel owner there was unable to reserve the entire facility for the city.

While Mayor Eric Adams has said the crisis is a statewide problem, others accuse him of playing politics.

"We're a heavily Republican area, conservative area, Orange County is a heavily Republican, conservative area and I see a lot of politics going on there which ain't right for the people," said Don Minichino of the Dutchess County Conservative Party.


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