Executive Day: New York City Must Not Bus Migrants To Rockland
Local officials including Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Rockland County Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Joan Silvestri are calling on New York City to not bus migrants to Rockland which is already seeing a strain to schools, food pantries, housing, and social services due to an increasing number of undocumented individuals resettling in Rockland.
“This is absurd, and we will not stand for it. There is nothing humanitarian about a Sanctuary City sending busloads of people to a County that does not have the infrastructure to care for them. It’s the same as throwing them in the middle of the ocean with nowhere to swim,” said County Executive Ed Day.
This announcement follows a call to a Town Supervisor early Friday from New York City Mayor Eric Adams indicating that undocumented individuals are being sent to Rockland County with few other details aside from they’ll be housed in a local hotel. Upon further inquiry, the County has learned the City of New York plans to house about 340 adult males in Armoni Inn and Suites in Orangeburg for four months with plans to secure them work permits to integrate into the community.
Work permits typically take up to six months on average for asylum seekers to obtain and the County believes it is unlikely this will be achieved in four months with no response by city officials as to recourse if they are unsuccessful. The County of Rockland is also critical of the location chosen as it has no resources within walking distance.
While city officials also allege they will provide some short-term funding and services to these individuals, no realistic plans have been communicated as to who will house, feed, and support these individuals in the long-term.
“In his Road Forward Plan Mayor Eric Adams calls on the Federal Government to establish a strategy for each migrant’s arrival well before entry into the country that ensures this humanitarian crisis is dealt with in a coordinated manner. There is nothing coordinated about the situation but rather its duplicitous of Mayor Adams to surprise a locality that busloads of migrants are heading to their town,” said County Executive Day.
In early March the County held a press conference with local food pantries and DSS publicizing the impacts of an increasing number of undocumented individuals resettling in Rockland which include:
- Food pantries running out of food.
- +1,000 kids enrolled in a local district.
- 35% increase in children under foster care.
“Social Services funding is not applicable to undocumented individuals so we have no financial support to help those without a legal status and even if we did this County has a well-known housing crisis that includes both a lack of housing and lack of affordable housing that this will only compound further,” said DSS Commissioner Joan Silvestri. “Our current system is not built to support asylum seekers and work permits do not guarantee work or integration.”
With Title 42, a public health order adopted during the Trump administration because of the pandemic, set to expire May 11th the County is concerned these influxes are only the tip of the iceberg and urge Federal lawmakers to fix the immigration system.
“This screams out for solutions on the Federal level pertaining to our broken immigration system because any Federal lawmakers in support of this and Mayor Adams are not doing these folks any favors, quite the opposite; you’re not helping people, you’re hurting people,” concluded County Executive Day.