MONTICELLO – Yesterday afternoon approximatey 24 Asylum Seekers were expected to arrive in Sullivan County from New York City, heading toward the Super 8 Motel at 290 East Broadway, Monticello …
MONTICELLO – Yesterday afternoon approximatey 24 Asylum Seekers were expected to arrive in Sullivan County from New York City, heading toward the Super 8 Motel at 290 East Broadway, Monticello and the Knights Inn in Liberty, according to public officials.
“That’s correct,” Monticello Village Mayor George Nikolados said yesterday morning. “I heard from Congressman Molinaro’s office they were coming.”
According to an official, 16 single women were being transported to Liberty and 8 single women to Monticello.
Nikolados said little other information has been forthcoming, especially from New York City Mayor’s Office.
“It would have been nice to get a heads up,” Nikoladas said.
Liberty Town Supervisor Frank DeMayo was caught equally off guard.
“The Knights Inn has 17 rooms which the county uses for veterans and the homeless. I don’t how much room they really have.
“I get mixed signals,” DeMayo said yesterday morning. “I have been on the phone all morning with [Congressman Marc] Molinaro’s office, [State Sen.Peter] Oberacker’s office, [Assemblywoman Aileen] Gunther’s office and the New York City Mayor’s Office.
“Are they just going to drop them off and leave?” DeMayo wondered. “What about meals? They have to eat!”
County officials were also scrambling yesterday morning to try and find out exactly what was happening.
Chairman Rob Doherty said, “With less than 24-hour notice, Sullivan County has been informed that 80 New York City social services clients are being transported today from the City to the Knights Inn in Liberty.
“The way the City, New York State and the Federal government are approaching this issue is reckless and unsustainable, as many County leaders have said across the State. In Sullivan’s case, we fear that this will displace a number of our otherwise-homeless residents, who we house in this and other lodging establishments,” Doherty continued.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been searching for places to put the Asylum Seekers, including public school buildings across the city, on Long Island and even bringing some Asylum Seekers to Rockland and Orange counties.
According to published reports, a state Supreme Court justice ruled Tuesday, May 16 that New York City cannot send any more asylum-seekers participating in a temporary relocation program to Orange County. But the 186 who are currently sheltered in two Newburgh hotels are permitted to stay.
The ruling, issued by state Supreme Court Justice Sandra B. Sciortino, grants Orange County a temporary restraining order covering two lawsuits it filed last week. The suits sought to end migrant relocations in Orange County and potentially evict the asylum-seekers staying at two hotels in the town of Newburgh, according to published reports.
The asylum-seekers — who are voluntarily participating in the program — have arrived in groups at the Crossroads Hotel and Ramada Inn since May 11. If any choose to leave, they cannot be replaced, per Sciortino’s ruling. The judge’s order may also require New York City to identify the migrants and their immigration and asylum status to the county to the extent allowed by law, according to Orange County Attorney Richard Golden, the report says.
“It sucks that we are a pawn in this,” Monticello Mayor Nikolados said. “The whole situation is not good.”
Nikolados said there was little he could do as New York City was placing them in a private hotel.
“That’s capitalism at work,” he said.
According to New York State Trooper Steven Nevel, “The State Police are not involved with any of that [transport of asylum seekers].”
“The only thing might be the escort of the bus,” he said.
Congressman Marc Molinaro said, “Tonight [Tuesday] we received information from the Office of Mayor Eric Adams that nearly 100 migrants will be sent from New York City to hotels in Sullivan County.
“I firmly oppose this decision. Sullivan is not a sanctuary city. Its residents are experiencing record levels of poverty, food insecurity, and a housing crisis,” Molinaro said. “This community does not have the capacity to handle a migrant crisis. I’m urging Mayor Adams to reconsider this plan and once again calling on President Biden to declare a state of emergency so this crisis will be addressed in New York City, instead of the Catskills.”
Liberty Supervisor DeMayo said all parties need to find a solution.
“In my mind they are good people,” DeMayo said. “I have asked these folks what can we do to help.”
DeMayo said the Liberty Rotary, Single Bite, and several churches have been approached to see what can be done “to help make them comfortable.
“We need solutions,” DeMayo said. “We keep throwing bandages on an open wound. No one wants to take responsibility – they just want to pass them off.
“Solutions! I asked them [New York City’s office] about FEMA,” he said. “They said FEMA is not engaged.
“I shutter to think what they people have been through,” he said. “They have been dragged through the mill. Now they are being thrown on a bus to New York City, leaving their family behind. I can imagine the trauma. It’s frustrating to me.
“We need long-term solutions,” DeMayo said.
Chairman Doherty said, “Speaking on behalf of my colleagues on the Legislature, we in no way agree with this forced approach to a problem that leaders at the City, State and Federal level have had years for which to plan. By this action, they are unfairly and illegally making their problem our problem.
Sullivan County will do what it needs to do – including availing itself of all rights and remedies provided by law – to oppose this ill-timed and poorly planned process, while at the same time ensuring the safety of our residents and businesses, and those who come here.
Back in March, the Sullivan County Democrat reported that a newly-formed Office of Asylum Seeker Operations has joined SUNY Sullivan and The Center for Discovery in developing a migrant workforce training pilot.
“Nothing is imminent,” SUNY Sullivan Officer in Charge Ellen Galligan said Tuesday afternoon.
According to Galligan, who has only been on the job for a week, she had not heard anything about the development of the program, as of yet.
Back in March, the Democrat reported Asylum seekers will be offered the opportunity to relocate to Sullivan County, attend college, and live on campus at SUNY Sullivan. The workforce training offered at TCFD will focus on the health care, human services, hospitality, culinary, and agricultural sectors.
“We are proud to have collaborated with the mayor on this visionary pilot program,” said TCFD President, Dr. Terry Hamlin, and SUNY Sullivan President, Jay Quaintance, in a joint statement.
“The Center for Discovery will offer the chance for migrants to learn about health care in a groundbreaking program in a beautiful setting. It will offer the opportunity to study on the campus of the renowned SUNY Sullivan, as community colleges are the gateway to affordable higher education in this country.”
“This program represents the very best of what New Yorkers and Americans are about: learning, opportunity and empathy,” they said.
In a press release put out by Mayor Adams’ Office, it notes that “the blueprint also outlines new strategies the city will pilot to train asylum seekers for employment, including a program with houses of worship to provide them with a place to stay and connection to services,” in addition to the other developing partnerships.
1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here
Friday, May 19 Report this