SCHENECTADY — Schenectady Republican mayoral candidate Matt Nelligan is calling on the city’s current administration to declare a state of emergency pertaining to migrants that are leaving New York City and seeking shelter in upstate counties.
While Schenectady County has not declared a state of emergency, Nelligan says the city should take preventive action.
Nelligan’s preferred path would mirror action taken this week by Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy, who issued a state of emergency that mandates that no municipality in Albany County can enter into a contract to transport and house migrants without permission from his office.
“While other counties have done this, the city can certainly act on its own accord,” Nelligan said on Thursday. “We should say that hotels and motels should not have contracts [to house migrants] without city approval. I think that’s a perfectly appropriate thing to do. I think it would be smart to get ahead of it.”
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said on Thursday that the city has not received information from the county or state that migrants will be relocated to Schenectady.
“We’ve reviewed it internally and we’re prepared to respond,” he said. “Most of the pressure would be on county government, should these things happen.”
Counties throughout the state, including Greene, Orange and Dutchess, have issued states of emergency relating to immigration, with Gov. Kathy Hochul declaring a statewide emergency on May 9 to address the approximately 40,000 immigrants that New York City is currently housing. New York City Mayor Eric Adams previously announced a plan to send migrants to upstate communities willing to house the asylum seekers in hotels.
Schenectady County Legislator Gary Hughes said the county Legislature has not deliberated over declaring a countywide state of emergency.
Hughes said the Legislature has not yet weighed a legislative solution to the migrant matter with the county yet to receive word that migrants will be sent to the county.
“That’s not something that we’ve taken up at this point,” he said.
Nelligan contends that the city should immediately declare a state of emergency pertaining to immigration, regardless of county action.
“Obviously this is a crisis situation and we’d be basically ordering hotels and motels not to make contracts with New York City to take migrants without permission from the city,” Nelligan said. “We haven’t seen great planning and coordination so far. I think the city needs to be aware of a bigger change in migration patterns where people are coming into the city that would need resources. It would not only allow us to say, ‘Hey, don’t make these contracts,’ but, if we decide to move forward, we’d be able to plan it in a much more forthright and thoughtful way.”
McCarthy pointed to a lack of federal immigration policy as a driving factor that has resulted in asylum seekers arriving in the state.
“We shouldn’t be afraid of immigration,” McCarthy said. “Our problem now becomes capacity, where we don’t have vacant space to house people. The county has a shortage today for people seeking assistance and they end up putting them in motels on a temporary basis. It’s unfortunate. The real issue is the lack of a national immigration policy so that people that want to come here can come here in an appropriate and managed manner, as opposed to this chaotic method today that divides people and they fight over it and people are scared of it. Nobody really benefits from that.”
Nelligan said that he’s concerned about migrants taxing city resources if they are potentially housed in Schenectady.
“In the city, we have a homelessness problem and we have a problem with crime and a lot of internal problems in the city we should be addressing first,” he said. “To the extent that we need city resources, we should be directing those to the city first. I think we should look at all of these people with compassion. It’s not a lack of compassion, it’s a move to make sure we’re taking care of the needs of city residents first.”
Contact Ted Remsnyder at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @TedRemsnyder.
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You sad pathetic Republicans.
We all are aware you want to a.) keep the number of brown people down as much as possible, especially from voting, and b.) use whatever cudgel you can find to try to make Democrats look bad, and you think trying to force Dems to “declare a state of emergency” puts them in a bad light and means more votes for Republicans.
You think, anyway. You sad pathetic Republicans continue your tone-deaf game of politics, no matter that people’s lives are at stake. You know you’re losing and you’re flailing in a most pathetic way.
This sound familiar?
– Politico, 10/28/2010 08:09 AM EDT
Here’s John Boehner, the likely speaker if Republicans take the House, offering his plans for Obama’s agenda: “We’re going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up his plan to National Journal: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
This guy wants to bring DeSantisland to Schenectady. Stop him now!