Statement from Dutchess County Executive William F.X. O’Neil regarding New York City bussing migrants/asylum seekers to Dutchess County

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Statement from Dutchess County Executive William F.X. O’Neil
regarding New York City bussing migrants/asylum seekers to Dutchess County

“Continuing our ongoing efforts to protect the residents of Dutchess County, I have executed and filed a State of Emergency and two Executive Orders in relation to New York City’s imminent, forced relocation of migrants and/or asylum seekers to Dutchess County. These measures will, to the best of the County’s ability, preserve our rights and safeguard the well-being of our residents and our community by enforcing various established codes and regulations – a pre-emptive step necessitated by the haphazard efforts of New York City to randomly disperse individuals throughout New York State. Though the City has failed to give Dutchess County a definitive timeframe of when, nor how many individuals could be expected, I am making this proactive move to ensure law and order throughout our County, as well as provide for the safety of our nearly 300,000 residents.

The County of Dutchess is also exploring its options to commence civil action against the City of New York, and any property owner of a hotel, motel or short-term occupancy rental property who uses or causes to be used, converts or authorizes the use of such hotel, motel or short-term rental property as an emergency shelter, homeless shelter or long-term overnight dormitory, including, but not limited to, seeking injunctive relief and a temporary restraining order.

While Dutchess County and our residents empathize with the plight of the individuals being inhumanely shuttled out of New York City by Mayor Eric Adams, Dutchess County is already grappling with housing challenges for our residents, and our County does not have the resources to adequately address the myriad needs these individuals will undoubtedly require during their stay. For New York City to simply dump these vulnerable souls into a community that cannot provide for their needs is unconscionable and a further example of Mayor Adams’ failure to create and communicate a well thought-out plan with Hudson Valley counties.

This crisis is the direct result of the Biden Administration’s continued failing, inability or unwillingness to conceive and adopt an immigration policy that protects both this country’s citizens and those looking to engage in a legal process to make a life here. We in Dutchess County government refuse to be enablers of this incompetent and ineffective administration, and we urge every Dutchess County resident to contact their federal representatives and ask they demand the White House to swiftly act.”