Buses of migrants from New York City arrive in Orange County; Rockland gets restraining order

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Thursday, May 11, 2023
Migrants arrive in Orange County; Rockland gets restraining order
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Despite enacting a State of Emergency in Orange County, migrants arrived there Thursday morning. Marcus Solis has the story.

NEWBURGH, Orange County (WABC) -- Buses of migrants from New York City arrived in Orange County on Thursday, despite officials enacting a State of Emergency.

It comes as Orange County had issued an executive order prohibiting hotels to be used as long-term residences.

And later Thursday, Rockland County was granted a temporary restraining order against New York City and Mayor Eric Adams, prohibiting the city proceeding with its plan to turn the Armoni Inn and Suites in Orangeburg into a shelter for 340 migrants.

Officials said due to New York City's "lack of honest and clear disregard for local and state laws" and the State of Emergency in Orange County, the Rockland County Sheriff's Office will remain posted outside of the hotel as a precaution.

"The City of New York lacks authority to establish a shelter outside of its boundaries in addition to failing to follow New York State rules and regulations required to do so," explained Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach. "At this point, the Temporary Restraining Order prohibits the City from bringing people to Rockland County for the purpose of sheltering them."

The county executive, also a former NYPD officer, added "the mayor can call me every name in the book to deflect the reality of this former officer's clear disregard for our laws. His belief that he is above local and state law...speaks volumes about the character of Mayor Adams."

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus also released a scathing statement against Mayor Eric Adams and called the process a "disorganized disaster."

"Last night, both the State and City assured the Town of Newburgh and Orange County that no buses with asylum seekers would be here until further notice. The process has been a disorganized disaster and the blame lies with the Mayor of New York, who originally opened the door for as many undocumented immigrants as possible to his self-proclaimed sanctuary city, and the Governor. She has sat back and done nothing as this crisis has negatively impacted New York State. The New York State Police, the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the Supervisor of the Town of Newburgh and his police department were not notified that these buses would be arriving today. Sadly, we have learned that you cannot trust the word of New York City's Mayor and the leadership of New York."

In response to the emergency orders blocking migrant arrivals, the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against Rockland and Orange counties.

"Orange and Rockland County's Emergency Orders egregiously violate migrants' rights," said Amy Belsher, Director of Immigrants' Rights Litigation at the New York Civil Liberties Union. "Migrants have every right to travel and reside anywhere in New York, free of xenophobic harassment and discrimination. People are not political pawns - both counties should welcome migrants into their communities, not unlawfully bar them from seeking refuge."

Not everyone is upset by the migrants' arrival to the county.

"It's a fake state of emergency that he himself created," said Orange County Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan.

"We wanted to counter the tone that has unfortunately been set by our county executive here that has created a lot of fear mongering, a lot of xenophobic sentiment, a lot of bigotry," said Orange County Legislator Genesis Ramos.

Adams' office is objecting to the Orange County executive calling Thursday's transports "a disorganized disaster" and say the transfers were organized.

Mayor Adams said that the counties have a moral obligation to help. He had harsh words for Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

"This guy has a record of being anti-Semitic, racist comments. His thoughts and how he responded to this, he really shows a lack of leadership. I thought he was the Texas governor, the way he acted. We are going to continue to challenge the legal challenges and continue to pursue, you can't use the courts to deny people to move around the state of New York," Adams said.

The mayor said the decision to bus migrants out of New York City took over a year, "because we tried to hold on and do this the best we can on our own. And what we are sending is a quarter of 1% of what we have. A quarter of 1%."

Title 42 expires Thursday night and it could drastically increase the number of migrants trying to enter the United States.

RELATED | Migrant surge as United States prepares for end of Title 42 policy linked to coronavirus pandemic

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