Hochul declares state of emergency to free funds for incoming migrants
Joshua Solomon reports in the Times Union that on May 9 Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency due to “the arrival of increased numbers of migrants seeking shelter” in New York City. The mayor there, Eric Adams, is planning to send asylum seekers to a handful of upstate communities. Hochul's declaration will let state and local officials distribute $1 billion from the recently enacted state budget to help house the migrants. Hochul said it is “already [a] large-scale humanitarian crisis.” A rule enacted by former President Donald Trump to keep migrants out of the country is set to expire soon, leading to many states taking similar actions. Right now New York City is temporarily housing nearly 37,000 migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border, including roughly 1,500 in the past week. Hochul’s declaration said this is “a disaster emergency to which local governments are unable to adequately respond, creating a threat to health and safety, which could result in the loss of life or property.” Most counties in New York already have an affordable housing crisis, so adding new people looking for shelter will just make that worse. Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin declared his own state of emergency just before Hochul’s announcement, but instead of providing funds for the crisis, it declares that no hotel or municipality can enter into a contract to house migrants. McLaughlin Tweeted, “Pick a different city picture other than Troy for your illegal invasion advertising.” That prompted a response from the New York City mayor's communications director, Maxwell Young, saying, “Bigotry, idiocy and legal ignorance all in one tweet.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.