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New York City sticks to migrant hotel plan despite pushback from suburbs


New York City officials plan to send asylum seekers to a suburban hotel despite fierce resistance from local leaders and a judge’s order temporarily blocking use of another hotel.

Mayor Eric Adams caused uproar north of the city by announcing Friday that the city would send up to 300 single adult men north to two hotels in suburban Rockland County and neighboring Orange County for up to go up to four months. The Democratic mayor’s plan comes as the city struggles to cope with a surge of about 60,000 asylum seekers since last spring, many of whom were bused into the city by out-of-state governors.

The administration is committed to providing food and services to the men. But local officials accused Adams of doing exactly what he complained the governors were doing to the city: evacuating asylum seekers without properly alerting the municipalities where people were heading.

“It was a sneak attack in the dark of night,” Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny said at a press conference Wednesday.

The showdown comes as cities across the country brace for a surge in migrant asylum-seekers when a pandemic-era policy that has allowed the deportation of many migrants comes to an end on Thursday.

Kenny said his town in Rockland County was granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Armoni Inn and Suites from receiving asylum seekers as his trial progresses. This is in addition to emergency declarations in Rockland and Orange counties designed to prevent hotels or motels from housing migrants.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said the county was pursuing its own litigation and the hotel’s operating license expired on April 30.

A call requesting comment has been made to the Armoni Inn.

Despite the setbacks, New York City officials plan to move forward with at least part of the plan and send “a small number of asylum seekers” to Orange County on Wednesday, a report said. Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said in a prepared statement.

“We’ll let the hotel decide how to move forward in Rockland County,” Levy said. He did not provide further details on the transfer, saying, “we need the feds to act, but until they do, we need other elected officials from the state and the countries do their part”.

Orange County officials have identified their local hotel as the Crossroads Hotel in the town of Newburgh, about 60 miles north of town.

Levy claimed Day, a Republican, failed to demonstrate “humane and compassionate care.” Day said local opposition stems from the city unilaterally pursuing an ill-conceived plan that will strain local resources.

“The plan is short-sighted, universally opposed locally and will only endanger the lives of our residents,” Day said.

Camille Mackler, executive director of Immigrant ARC, a coalition of legal service providers, said officials at all levels of government deserved blame for a response she called chaotic and ineffective.

“We need to have a more coordinated response,” she said, “and a response that centers the humanity and dignity of everyone involved instead of continuing to use their lives as political pawns.”

The Adams administration already uses hotels in the city to house some migrants, mostly families with children. Plans to house other people at sites — including a cruise ship terminal and a beach parking lot in the Bronx — have been scrapped.


Associated Press writer Jake Offenhartz contributed from New York

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.