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Local officials turn to regulations to block housing migrants

Jul 25, 2023 1:03 pm

Several local recent stories show local officials coming up with all sorts of excuses and reasons to try and block migrants from being housed. Brendan J. Lyons reports in the Times Union that officials in the Town of Colonie now say there are code violations at the SureStay Plus Hotel on Wolf Road after buses from New York City dropped of migrants there in May. Back then, Colonie officials did not have a problem with the hotel. Now, two code violations were served to Amandeep Dillon, whose family owns the SureStay Plus Hotel. The code violations are for guests staying in a hotel for more than 28 consecutive days and for refusing to allow Deputy Police Chief Robert H. Winn to review the guest registry on June 30. Both rules are in town ordinances passed seven years ago. Winn said, “The perception has been that the enforcement is against the migrants. It’s not.... The enforcement is against the hotel ownership.” The second law, seems to violate a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision against the city of Los Angeles in a case that challenged a local law that made it a misdemeanor for a hotel operator to decline to allow police to review their guest registries. Colonie passed its town ordinance four months before the Supreme Court ruling. Other counties, though, have filed their own lawsuits or issued executive orders to try and block New York City from relocating migrants to their communities. Last week Republicans Marc Molinaro and Elise Stefanik and Democrat Pat Ryan voted for a bill that prohibits schools from being used as shelters for migrants, while Democrat Paul Tonko voted against. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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