Republican lawmakers Want Money for Migrant Aid Accounted for
Republicans in the New York State Assembly are urging state officials to exercise increased vigilance in monitoring the allocation and usage of $1 billion in aid and resources designated for migrants.
They have addressed a letter to the Hochul administration, seeking clarity on how these funds are being distributed, with a particular emphasis on assisting New York City in handling the recent surge of arrivals. This call coincides with New York state's efforts to address the influx of migrants following the expiration of Title 42, which allowed the U.S. to turn away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The $1 billion, which accounts for approximately one-third of the financial assistance requested by Mayor Eric Adams of New York City, was included in a state budget agreement reached in May. In the letter, released by Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay's office, lawmakers stress the importance of ensuring that any funds allocated by the state, whether used directly or indirectly to relocate migrants to other counties, comply with local laws and are coordinated with these counties. Given reports of migrant relocation efforts from New York City to upstate regions, lawmakers specifically inquire about existing policies governing coordination between city officials and local municipalities.
Governor Kathy Hochul has actively sought federal support to manage the situation. She has appealed to President Joe Biden's administration to expedite the work permit process for migrants with asylum seeker status, enabling them to work while in New York. Hochul has also requested resources from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide shelter and other forms of assistance to migrants. Over the past month, state officials have been identifying potential locations for migrant housing, including state-owned sites like State University of New York campuses and former psychiatric centers.
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 encountered legal challenges from certain county officials.
Adams expressed frustration at the lack of support from the federal government, stating in a press release, "Despite calling for a national decompression strategy and a statewide decompression strategy since last year, New York City has been left without the necessary support to manage this crisis. With a void in leadership, we are now compelled to pursue our own decompression strategy."