ALBANY – Capital Region pols are blasting Mayor Eric Adams for bussing approximately five dozen migrant asylum seekers into their communities with little notice over the weekend.
“They’re saying there’s probably going to be another bus of 150 coming up and it’s alarming because we want to do this right,” County Executive Dan McCoy said after several dozen migrants arrived at an Albany hotel on Sunday.
“We want to be part of the solution – not part of the problem, but it’s organized chaos right now.”
About two dozen other migrants are also staying at a motel on a commercial strip in the Town of Colonie despite an emergency order aimed at blocking their arrival without county approval.
“While that order did not necessarily exclude the possibility of migrants being housed within the county, it distinctly required a collaborated and coordinated deliberate plan amongst state, county, and local officials as well as non-profit organizations,” Town Supervisor Peter Crummey said, according to the Albany Times Union.
Adams has attracted similar criticism in recent weeks from other upstate officials after sending migrants to their communities while arguing the Big Apple needs help handling the waves of asylum seekers arriving from the U.S. Southern Border.
Roughly 40,000 migrants currently depend on the Big Apple for housing, food, and other basic necessities out of 70,000 – many of whom are seeking asylum after escaping poverty and persecution in home countries like Venezuela – that have arrived since last summer.
New York City is also still supporting hundreds of people sent to other areas of the state in recent weeks like Sullivan County in the Catskills and Newburgh in the Hudson Valley.
“In most areas, we’re not even asking localities to help manage a quarter of 1% of the asylum seekers that have arrived in New York City, and again with New York covering the costs,” Adams spokesperson Fabien Levy said Monday.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Kathy Hochul did not provide comment Monday about the migrants’ arrival near her Albany doorstep.
But McCoy on Monday accused Mayor Eric Adams of hypocrisy for bussing migrants to the Capital Region with little notice while declining to provide the county with a plan for providing for the migrants as required by the emergency order McCoy unveiled a week ago.
“What he’s doing now is what happened to him – and it’s not right. He knows it’s not,” McCoy said while referring to the waves of migrants sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot to New York City since last summer.
“We just hope for better coordination as we go forward to work with the mayor’s office in this and not just keep getting surprised,” McCoy added.
The Adams administration has pointed to some key differences between how Hizzoner sends migrants elsewhere compared to the conservative Texas governor.
New York City is covering the costs of basic necessities and gives at least some head’s up to localities compared to the relatively unexpected and unsubsidized approach deployed by Abbot.
The Adams administration also claims that migrants are leaving the city willingly compared to reports of others being coerced by Texas officials about where buses would take them.
“We must be clear on what we’re doing because some people try to compare it to what Abbott did. We’re paying for it. We are only taking volunteers. We are communicating with the officials up there on what we’re doing. Now, some may not like it, but people can’t say we’re not communicating. Abbott did not pay. Abbott compelled people,” Adams said on May 11.
Some Capital Region Democrats say that however imperfectly migrants began arriving in the area, the welcome mat is open for them amid ongoing calls from local, state, and federal officials for President Joe Biden to take more actions to alleviate the growing crisis in the Empire State.
“When I speak with business leaders throughout the City, County, and Capital Region, it is clear there are job opportunities for asylum seekers in various industries, including hospitality, health care, and food service — we just need to make it easier for asylum seekers to fill these long-vacant jobs,” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said Monday.
But that can only happen if Biden acts on growing calls to loosen rules for migrants to legally work without waiting at least 180 days as they navigate the tricky process to get political asylum.
“Being welcomed with basic resources and the ability to secure a job and pay taxes will help integrate asylum seekers into our community and help them become productive new Americans,” Sheehan said.