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  • Dave McCleary

Republican lawmakers Want $1 Bil Migrant Aid Accounted for

NYC Mayor Eric Adams says the "entire state should participate in solving the migrant crisis.

Republicans in the New York State Assembly are urging state officials to exercise greater caution in accounting for the utilization of $1 billion in aid and resources intended for migrants.

In a letter addressed to the Hochul administration, GOP lawmakers say they seek clarification regarding the allocation and expenditure of these funds, with a primary focus on aiding New York City in managing the recent influx of individuals.

This request coincides with New York state's efforts to address the arrival of thousands of migrants following the expiration of Title 42, allowing U.S. officials to turn away migrants who came to the U.S.-Mexico border on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The $1 billion, which constitutes roughly one-third of the financial assistance Mayor Eric Adams of New York City said he needed, was part of a state budget agreement reached in May.

In the letter, released by Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay's office, lawmakers emphasize the importance of ensuring that any state-allocated funds, whether spent directly or indirectly on relocating migrants to other counties, are used in compliance with local laws and in coordination with these counties. The lawmakers specifically inquire about the existing policies governing coordination between city officials and local municipalities, given reports of migrant relocation efforts from New York City to upstate regions.

Governor Kathy Hochul has been actively seeking federal support in managing the situation. She has appealed to President Joe Biden's administration to expedite the work permit process for migrants who possess asylum seeker status, allowing them to work while in New York. Additionally, Hochul has requested resources from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide shelter and other forms of assistance for migrants. State officials have been exploring potential locations for migrant housing, including state-owned sites like State University of New York campuses and former psychiatric centers, over the past month.

In May, Mayor Adams' administration initiated a voluntary program to relocate migrants to communities north of New York City in order to alleviate housing constraints. However, this program has faced legal challenges from certain county officials.

“Despite calling on the federal government for a national decompression strategy since last year, and for a decompression strategy across the state, New York City has been left without the necessary support to manage this crisis," Adams said in a press release. "With a vacuum of leadership, we are now being forced to undertake our own decompression strategy."

Read a copy of the letter

6.1.23 DOB migrants letter
Download PDF • 572KB


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