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Local Democrats, Republicans in Albany, DC have different ideas for migrants

May 29, 2023 12:21 pm

Nick Reisman reports for New York State of Politics that there are battle lines drawn in New York politics on the migrant relocation issue. While members of both parties have made statements against governors of southern states or the mayor of New York City busing migrants around the country, that's where the agreement ends. Democrats have largely backed Gov. Kathy Hochul's push to allow migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. the opportunity to work on a more expedited basis. Republicans, generally, don't want migrants housed in upstate New York. Democratic state Assemblyperson Pat Fahy is among the Democrats calling for President Joe Biden to change rules stopping new migrants from working right away. Fahy said, "Having someone wait 180 days, you’re almost inviting problems and I think that’s fueling some of the resistance.... I’ve been dismayed to see some of the comments. We’re New York. We have a history of being a welcoming state." Rep. Marc Molinaro is not as welcoming, introducing what he calls the Schools Not Shelters Act on May 26, a bill that would block Governor Kathy Hochul from using schools to shelter migrants. Hochul is discussing the possibility of housing migrants in SUNY college dorms in Upstate New York this summer. Molinaro said, "Upstate New York taxpayers pay thousands of dollars to support our public education system. SUNY college students pay thousands of dollars for room and board. Our schools are not shelters.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, many public buildings were used in different ways to respond to the health crisis. Republican Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt blamed Washington politicians who have not updated migration policy in decades. Ortt said, "I don’t think anyone can argue that it’s the failure of the border policy that has partly led – partly – to this crisis to begin with." Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.