Buses carrying migrant men from New York City arrive in Orange County
Supporters held heart-shaped signs and yelled out ‘welcome’ and ‘beinvenido’ as dozens of migrants arrived by bus in the Town of Newburgh on Thursday.
Roughly 60 migrants are now expected to stay at the Crossroads hotel for up to four months. Orange County Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan says the county is positioned to help offset the services being provided by New York City.
“They have a great set up inside. There’s a lot of great support in there,” said Legislator Lujan. New York City is paying for their food, housing and services in an effort to relieve the immigration crisis at their doorstep and find housing for 61,000 asylum seekers.
“I think the whole point of their stay here for these four months is to get them to their working permit so they can lawfully work here in the United States," said Legislator Genesis Ramos.
Federal lawmakers are in active talks to address the crisis and immigration reform.
Rep. Pat Ryan and Mike Lawler called on the federal government Thursday to declare a state of emergency in New York to mobilize FEMA and other resources to help.
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus issued his own state of emergency to try and block migrants from coming, citing concerns about the city’s lack of coordination and transparency about who the asylum seekers are, where they’re from and ultimately – where they’re going.
"We validate the fact that there should be more communication and more transparency around the process, but we can’t automatically demonize folks or make the situation more volatile than it has to be," said Legislator Ramos.
Neuhaus called the migrants' somewhat unexpected arrival a “disorganized disaster.”
Supporters say multiple nonprofits and faith groups are ready to help the county now that the asylum seekers are here.