HUDSON VALLEY, NY — U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (NY-19) held a virtual press conference Monday to call for a special session of the New York State Legislature to address the migrant crisis.
Molinaro was joined by State Senators Peter Oberacker and Tom O’Mara and State Assemblymembers Joe Angelino, Brian Maher, Brian Miller, and Scott Bendett. Molinaro wants Albany to do two things: repeal the "sanctuary state" designation and prevent New York City from moving migrants upstate.
He said more than 110,00 migrants are currently in New York City, with more coming. "We have seen this massive influx put enormous pressure on social services in New York City, so much so that Mayor Adams is now saying the crisis will ‘destroy’ the city." Molinaro and the state lawmakers said that their communities are already struggling to meet the needs of their own residents, such as veterans and the homeless.
Molinaro said his priorities were securing the border, making the asylum process more efficient while keeping it at the border, and reining in the federal government and making it smaller.
What with arriving migrants transported all across the country, some by states and some by the federal government, "It’s as if every community is now a border community," he said. He would prohibit taxpayer dollars from being spent on transporting migrants.
He said he also opposes expediting work permits for asylum seekers in New York.
All the lawmakers said the state and city needed to rescind "sanctuary" rules prohibiting state and local police from conducting stops or arrests based solely on perceived immigration status, and preventing government agencies from inquiring about immigration status when an individual seeks aid or reports a crime.
New York City opened their arms and encouraged migrants to come, said O’Mara. "We have not. They asked for it, they got it, and they shouldn’t be sloughing it off on us." They also said they were afraid of the possibility that their communities could be overwhelmed with migrants. "I don’t have the capacity to help a family after a house fire," Angelino said. He called for sealing the nation's borders. "We have more than 100 migrants here in my community," said Maher. "We know that if the problem isn’t addressed that will only continue." Bendett said everyone was having problems providing social services for "not just the migrants but everybody. We’re all having these issues." Molinaro noted that some have called for raising some taxes to deal with the need for services.
"We oppose that too," he said. They also called for careful auditing of the $1 billion allocated in the state budget passed this spring for New York City's migrant crisis. In Congress, Molinaro voted to pass a border security and immigration reform bill, called for the President to declare a Federal State of Emergency, and authored and passed bipartisan legislation to prevent Hochul from using school buildings for migrant shelters.