August 8th, 2023

by Carl Campanile

Upstate Dem leaders crowed Tuesday about a local hotel taking in 77 migrants from New York City — while the state’s most powerful GOP pol said no thanks to asylum-seekers relocating to a Quality Inn in her district.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced plans for a hotel in Rochester to start taking in migrants, an arrangement made with New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ office.

“New York City’s migrant crisis is impacting the entire state of New York. Here in Monroe County, I put an executive order in place to ensure that any asylum seekers brought here would have their housing, medical, and personal needs addressed and planned for, with funding secured from New York City,” said Bello, a Democrat.

“Our goal was to avoid a chaotic scramble for services and to respect the dignity of those individuals lawfully awaiting resolution of their asylum claims,” he said.

Migrants arrived at the Holiday Inn on State Street on Monday, reported. The asylum-seekers included children.

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who represents communities along the Canadian border, said she opposes a Long Island castle owner’s bid to convert his mostly empty upstate hotel in Massena in her district into an emergency shelter for migrants sent from the Big Apple.

She noted that border crossings have skyrocketed 2,100% along the New York-Canada dividing line that includes her district.

“In the North Country, we support the rule of law. I stand with our hard-working local officials opposed to the relocation of illegal immigrants into Massena or anywhere else,” said the head of the House Republican Conference to The Post on Tuesday.

The vast majority of migrants that have been flooding the country enter illegally, with many then claiming asylum and being allowed to stay here legally while their legal bid plays out in US courts, sometimes for more than a decade.

“We are not a leftist `Sanctuary City’ like New York City,” Stefanik said, referring to the Big Apple’s vow to not completely participate with federal law-enforcement efforts to ferret out illegal immigrants.

“Enough is enough with this madness.”

By contrast, Bello said the Monroe County Department of Human Services will review the hotel migrant shelter plan every 30 days to ensure that adequate meals are provided and basic medical needs are being met.

While awaiting their asylum hearings, Bello said, migrants would greatly benefit from having the opportunity to work. He said he’s had conversations with Congressman Joe Morelle (D-Rochester) and the New York State Association of Counties about how to best advocate for the streamlining of the work visa process.

Under current federal law, migrants have to wait at least180 days for work permits. Mayor Adams also has urged President Biden to expedite work permits.

Adams’ has met a firestorm of opposition when busing migrants to hotels in other suburban and upstate communities mostly run by Republican elected officials.

But Monroe and Rochester’s Democratic officials said they welcome them.

“We are working closely with Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ administration to safely accommodate asylum seekers arriving from NYC to Rochester,” said state Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D-Rochester), an Asian immigrant-turned-US citizen. “{We respect the hardship of their journey to the United States, especially for young families and children.

“The Greater Rochester community has a proud history of welcoming immigrants and refugees, and we will ensure today’s asylum seekers are treated with respect and dignity.”

But he did express concern about whether there are adequate resources to handle migrants in Rochester.

“Mass transportation of families to cities across our state will overwhelm already stressed social systems, especially in Rochester where too many of our residents are challenged by poverty,” Cooney said.

“I hope to see a more comprehensive plan for the care of these asylum seekers from our state and federal partners. These families need love and an opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”

A City Hall spokesman responded, “As we’ve been saying for months, we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, having opened approximately 200 emergency sites to serve almost 100,000 asylum seekers that have arrived in our city. Every day, we receive hundreds of additional asylum seekers and we are out of space. New York City has done and will continue to do its part, but we need counties, cities, and towns across the state to do their part as well, especially when New York City is willing to pay for shelter, food, and more.

“Many elected officials, community groups, and faith institutions have been overwhelmingly supportive and enthusiastic about welcoming these new arrivals to their cities and towns, and we are grateful to the leaders in Monroe County who have welcomed asylum seekers with open arms. We ask other elected officials across the state to do the same.”

See the full article from the New York Post here.