It’s time for Hochul to declare a state of emergency over New York’s migrant nightmare
Governor Kathy Hochul seems to declare (and expand) emergencies in the blink of an eye, from COVID to monkeypox to polio; the latest is a snow emergency for Buffalo, his hometown and surrounding counties. But not when it comes to the migrant crisis in New York. Why?
The government has also failed to offer significant state aid as the city deals with more than 20,000 recently arrived illegal immigrants and has ruled out the idea of relocating some of the migrants to upstate New York. least until they get working papers, which would take six months, the bare minimum.
Mayor Eric Adams, who declared a state of emergency for migrants a few weeks ago, suggests that Hochul and his minions simply wanted nothing to do with the city’s crisis during the “campaign season” – in effect, “no one wanted to talk about it”. But the election is over.
Again, during his short 14½ months as governor, Hochul repeatedly renewed the COVID state of emergency. She declared one for staffing shortages in hospitals and others for monkeypox and poliomyelitis, as well as the snowstorm declaration.
Yet when it comes to migrants who need food and shelter in the city. . . crickets.
Like Adams, Hochul wants the federal government to pour in money for the crisis; Adams asked for $1 billion. And there is no doubt that President Joe Biden’s open border policies are the main cause of the dilemma, so the least he can do is try to mitigate the damage.
By declaring an emergency, Hochul can raise the stakes — adding pressure on Biden to help. (And maybe to stop creating even more trouble, closing the border once and for all; when Title 42 ends soon, some 18,000 migrants one day are waiting).
Maybe the government doesn’t want to put pressure on Biden. But the city’s budget situation is precarious, as Tuesday’s Adams budget update made clear. Gotham faces billions of dollars in cash shortfalls in the coming years, so much so that State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli issued a stern warning, noting “a substantial worsening of the economic outlook” since the last town hall update in April. Migrants only add to the financial pressure.
Wholesale New York elected Hochul this month, providing him with the votes to overcome Lee Zeldin’s advantage in most of the rest of the state. Yet she only talks about getting help for Gotham months later in the next budget.
She could at least show some gratitude by declaring a migrant emergency in the city, opening the door to state and federal help, and giving city hall more leeway to handle the crisis.
If she can’t prove she understands the needs of her constituents – and her duty to them – nowwhen will she do it?