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    NYC moved about 2.2K asylum seekers to upstate NY. Have those efforts stalled? What w

    NYC moved about 2.2K asylum seekers to upstate NY. Have those efforts stalled? What we know

    Chris McKenna, New York State Team
    Thu, September 21, 2023 at 5:15 AM EDT·5 min read


    New York City launched its push in May to move some of the many asylum seekers in its care to hotels outside its borders to free up space in its emergency shelters for the next arrivals.

    But after more than four months of scrambling for that temporary housing and clashing in court with counties that fought the placements, the city's efforts appear to have stalled.

    The number of migrants placed at 14 hotels in seven counties across the state stands at around 2,200, and has barely increased in more than a month, the USA Today Network has found.

    No new sites have opened for six weeks, other than the city's moving a group of asylum seekers from one hotel to another in Erie County.

    Families of asylum seekers are led into the Ramada hotel in Yonkers onkers May 15, 2023. The families were being housed in New York City.

    Why the apparent halt in asylum seeker placements from NYC?

    That's partly due to temporary court orders preventing the city from placing asylum seekers in four counties that sued to block its plans: Rockland, Orange, Dutchess and Onondaga. Those and other cases — both for and against the hotel placements — are wending their way through state and federal courts.

    Many other counties have issued executive orders to thwart the city. But even in those that posed no resistance, the numbers are unchanged.

    Westchester County, host to about 400 of New York City's asylum seekers, is an obvious destination because it borders the city and its leaders have been relatively receptive. But only three hotels in a county of 1 million people have contracted with the city, and no new shelter sites have opened in Westchester in more than three months.

    A spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Eric Adams told the USA Today Network that the city hasn't paused its relocation efforts, and that it continues searching for hotels in places other than the four counties with court orders.

    "We are in active communications everywhere," spokeswoman Kayla Mamelak said.

    In Westchester, she said, the city had run out of viable housing sites.

    The number of migrants housed outside the city is a small share of the more than 113,000 who have been bused to New York from the southern border since the spring of 2022. The city currently has about 60,000 asylum seekers in its care.
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    Where are the housing sites in Westchester?

    Westchester's first site began boarding migrant families in May: a Ramada by Wyndham in Yonkers that has since been renamed Plaza Esperanza. The following month, additional rooms were found at the Central Motel Courtyard in White Plains and the Ardsley Acres Hotel Court in Ardsley.

    County Executive George Latimer has been giving updates on those sites — and responding to anti-migrant criticism — during his weekly video addresses.

    "We continue to manage the issue as well as we can," he said in Monday's speech.

    "This is not a sanctuary county, this is not 'welcoming.' This is doing our humanitarian best to help people in need as they have been presented by the City of New York through their independent authority to do so."

    Jorge, 43, and Renny, 22, both from Venezuela, are two of the dozens of asylum seekers that were brought from New York City to the Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh.

    Both men, photographed outside the hotel May 31, 2023, said that they had to flee their home country because of danger faced by themselves and their families had they stayed. Jorge left a wife and two daughters behind.


    Latimer reminded viewers, as he has done previously, that the Trump administration placed 1,000 migrant children in four locations in Westchester in 2018, and housed them there for about a year.

    "That was 1,000; we're at 400 now, so it's a big difference in terms of the volume," he said. "We managed it well then, we're doing everything we can to manage it well in this case. And it's very important, because the rhetoric in the community goes much beyond the actual reality of things."

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    Where else are asylum seekers being housed?

    The city placed 272 asylums seekers — all men without families — in Orange and Dutchess counties in May before both counties won court orders barring further placements while the cases play out. It's unclear how many remain at those three hotels in the towns of Newburgh and Poughkeepsie after some returned to New York City.

    The following are recent counts of asylum seekers placed around New York, according to recent counts given to the USA Today Network by county officials:

    • 640 asylum seekers at three hotels in and near Albany in Albany County
    • 530 at three hotels outside Buffalo in Erie County
    • 205 at a Super 8 in Rotterdam, in Schenectady County
    • 164 at a Holiday Inn in Rochester, in Monroe County

    The Adolfo family arrived in Rochester from New York City Aug. 7. They traveled from Angola to seek asylum in the United States due to threat of violence. From left: Mateus, Leba, Eduamio and Nadina.

    None have been placed on Long Island, an area of nearly 3 million people next to the city.

    The placements are being handled by DocGo, a medical services company that has a one-year city contract worth $432 million.

    That contract, a copy of which was obtained this week by the USA Today Network, instructs the contractor to pay hotels $170 per night for each room and to book up to 3,000 rooms altogether.

    What else is New York City doing to house, help asylum seekers?

    Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul recently reached an agreement with the federal government to lease Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn as a shelter for up to 2,000 asylum seekers. The former military airfield is now a federal park and had long been considered as a place to create additional migrant housing.

    But that, too, has met resistance: a group of lawmakers and citizens have sued to stop the city's plans.

    Chris McKenna covers government and politics for The Journal News and USA Today Network. Reach him at

    This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News:

    Last edited by Beezer; 09-21-2023 at 08:52 AM.


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