Pressure Mounts for Special Session to Address Migrant Crisis in New York City
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has stated that she is considering the possibility of calling a special session of the legislature to address the growing migrant crisis in New York City. Speaking at an unrelated press conference on Thursday, Hochul expressed her willingness to explore all options in collaboration with Mayor Eric Adams to find a resolution. Calls for a special session in Albany have gained bipartisan support, despite Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie previously stating that he did not foresee recalling lawmakers. Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, who introduced bills on Thursday to appoint a statewide coordinator for migrants and prevent counties from blocking migrant housing, voiced her support for the emergency measure. She emphasized the need for collective efforts to address the crisis, stating, "We're all in this together & every corner of our State must do its part."
Assemblyman Michael Tannousis, a Republican representing Staten Island, also expressed his belief that a special session should be called to address the ongoing crisis. Tannousis highlighted the sentiments of his constituents, who feel neglected by all levels of government. He told The Post that New York City is currently facing an overwhelming crisis with no end in sight. Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay echoed these concerns, urging policymakers to take action before the situation deteriorates further. Last week, a group of Republican politicians, including Tannousis, issued a similar plea. However, there has been no immediate response from Heastie's office regarding the renewed push for a special session.
Both Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams have repeatedly called on Washington D.C. to expedite work authorizations for migrants, arguing that employment opportunities offer the fastest way out of the crisis. Each week, thousands of migrants are arriving in New York City, leading officials to estimate that the cost of caring for asylum seekers in the city could reach $12 billion by 2025. Currently, the city is responsible for nearly 60,000 migrants in its care.
Meanwhile, New York State Assembly Republicans have also called on Governor Hochul to hold a special session urgently to address the migrant crisis. Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay criticized the Biden administration, accusing it of turning its back on New York. He emphasized the need for the State Legislature to establish guidelines and take action before the situation worsens. Assemblyman Michael Reilly, Queens Councilwoman Vickie Paladino, and David Hirsch, a Republican candidate for Assembly in the 27th District, joined Barclay during a press conference outside a former high school that has been converted into a migrant shelter. Reilly stressed that communities across New York City, from Staten Island to Whitestone, are voicing their concerns over the out-of-control migrant crisis. In addition to urging Albany to take action, Reilly called on Hochul and Adams to exert pressure on President Biden to address the issue at the southern border, the main source of the influx of migrants into the city.
The growing number of migrants processed in the city since spring 2022 has reached approximately 107,000, with over 59,000 migrants currently under the care of New York taxpayers. Mayor Adams and his budget officials estimate that the cost of the migrant crisis over the next three years could reach a staggering $12 billion. As of now, there has been no comment from Governor Hochul's representatives regarding the call for a special session.
themes: New York City Washington New York (state)