Gov. Hochul provides update on migrant crisis
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)-- Early Thursday morning Gov. Kathy Hochul sent a letter to the White House asking them to provide expedited work authorizations, financial assistance, and the use of federal lands and facilities for shelters for more than 100,000 asylum seekers currently in the state.
The letter also asks for the reimbursement of nearly 2,000 New York national guard members currently providing logistical and operational support across the state.
“This crisis originated with the federal government, and it must be resolved through the federal government,”Hochul said.
This year's state budget includes $1.5 billion to address the migrant crisis. And earlier this week, Gov. Hochul announced an additional $20 million to help with casework filings of more than 30,000 asylum seekers.
State officials said these services will be targeted at helping people move to independent living.
“If we can’t slow the flow of people to New York City, we want to make sure that we limit the time that they have to be in shelter. That will both reduce the shelter population, it will help take pressure off the city's operations, and it’s good for people,” said Jackie Bray, Commissioner, New York State Div. of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
And while state leaders continue to manage this issue in the city, some New York State lawmakers expressed concern about asylum seekers coming to upstate communities.
Assembly Member Phil Palmesano (R-Corning) said some lawmakers want to make sure certain communities who rely on hotels and other forms of shelter are protected including veterans, domestic violence victims, and homeless individuals.
“We want to make those vulnerable populations are protected and are taken care of first. We just do not have the infrastructure and the services that we can provide to these individuals,” Palmesano said.
Gov. Hochul said the state cannot and will not force asylum seekers to shelter in upstate counties.