Local News for May 24, 2023

Republican State Senators Sponsor Bill Preventing SUNY From Housing Migrants

Yesterday we told you that Governor Kathy Hochul is asking SUNY schools to consider housing asylum seekers and migrants from New York City. WRVO Public Radio is reporting Republican state senators are sponsoring a new bill to prevent SUNY campuses from housing migrants. It’s one of several pieces of legislation Republicans have introduced to stop asylum seekers and migrants from being sent to upstate communities. New York City officials estimates there are about 71,000 migrants in the city. Most were bussed there from states along the Mexico - U.S. border.

Cortland County Extends Emergency Order Banning Housing Migrants from New York City

The Cortland County legislature met on Monday to find out why a state of emergency was declared there. It prevents migrants and asylum seekers from being housed in the county. The legislature’s chair, Kevin Fitch issued the declaration on May 12th.

Beau Harbin is a Democratic and represents part of the city of Cortland in the legislature.

"There are significant issues and concerns in Cortland County with assisting residents. We heard that very clearly from department heads," he said.

Harbin said  the county is already facing a housing shortage and that includes temporary shelter for homeless people. He doesn't think that means they won’t help any asylum seekers.

"We should be able to find an opportunity to provide some sort of support for asylum seekers in our community. We have a history of it. We welcomed in Ukrainian families," he said.

At Monday's meeting they formed a bi-partisan committee to figure out exactly how many people they might be able to help. It also includes several heads of several county departments.

Tuesday, the emergency order was renewed for another five days. It will expire this Friday.

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