4 Hudson Valley counties among 30 sued by NYC over migrant emergency orders

Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland counties are all named as defendants in the lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan Wednesday.

Jonathan Gordon

Jun 7, 2023, 9:21 PM

Updated 356 days ago


New York City Mayor Eric Adams is suing 30 upstate counties and asking a judge to void their emergency orders blocking the city from busing and housing migrants there.
Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, and Rockland counties are all named as defendants in the lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan Wednesday.
The lawsuit alleges all of the emergency orders were created on "baseless claims" that a public safety emergency would arise in counties accepting an overflow of asylum seekers in their communities.
Adams also says the orders are unlawful because they're blocking New York City from responding to a humanitarian crisis.
"This lawsuit aims to put an end to this xenophobic bigotry and ensure our state acts as one as we work together to manage this humanitarian crisis fairly and humanely, as we have done from the beginning and as we will continue to do," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams after the lawsuit was filed.
Last month, Gov. Kathy Hochul issued a statewide state of emergency order to strengthen New York's response to the number of asylum seekers being sent up from the U.S. southern border.
Dutchess County Executive William F.X. O'Neil issued a statement saying, "While Dutchess County does not comment on pending litigation, I will reiterate that the county's actions to this point are legitimate and have been made with the best interest of all involved."
"When the City of New York declared itself a Sanctuary City it invited these challenges. Now Mayor Adams is pouring gasoline on the fire he started while continuing to try to impose his will upon the rest of the state by breaking local building and zoning laws and violating New York state Social Services rules and regulations. Rockland County services have already been strained to the breaking point through the natural and organic migration of individuals to our county. This new lawsuit does nothing to address the legitimate concerns of my administration and residents of our county." said Rockland County Executive Ed Day in a statement Wednesday.
Orange County spokesperson Justin Rodriguez said in a statement, "New York City's lawsuit lacks merit and its boldfaced actions of sending individuals from the city to Orange County is in clear violation of state law and is the real problem. Orange County will continue to assert and protect its rights in ensuring that the rule of law is followed by all."
"We will not allow NYC to set up what will become essentially homeless shelters within the borders of Putnam. If Adams succeeds in suspending the right to shelter, any municipality housing migrants would immediately become responsible for paying for and caring for these individuals. Putnam County cannot afford to be put in such a position and our executive order stands," wrote Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne in a statement Thursday.
On Tuesday, a federal judge in White Plains ruled Orange and Rockland counties' emergency orders were unconstitutional and issued a temporary injunction.
The decision did not affect any of the state court-issued temporary injunctions blocking New York City from busing migrants to the Armoni Inn and Suites in Orangeburg or a pair of hotels in Newburgh.
In a separate ruling, a state Supreme Court judge blocked New York City from sending any additional migrants to Dutchess County after 86 were already placed at the Red Roof Inn in Poughkeepsie.
Both Orange and Rockland counties are due back in state Supreme Court later this month.

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