WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Will Jefferson County see an influx of migrants? A question left unanswered until now.

Jefferson County is one of the few counties in New York that has not declared a state of emergency following the end of Title 42. This was the national public health order issued during the COVID-19 pandemic that banned migrants from crossing into the United States from Mexico or Canada.

Title 42 officially expired on May 12.

Now, New York City has faced a migrant crisis and considered relocating to Upstate New York. Although Jefferson County has not been designated a site for these individuals, officials are monitoring the situation.

“There’s a question, is it going to be for four weeks? For four months? For some point into next year,” Jefferson County Administrator Robert Hagemann said in relation to migrant relocations.

Hagemann is concerned.

He said if a large population of migrants is placed in the community local resources could be in jeopardy as Jefferson County continues to face a homelessness crisis.

“There’s no more room at the inn,” he expressed. “We’re not in the position to help any more than any other communities. But there is a need to be addressed in some capacity.”

Migrant populations do continue to benefit Jefferson County, especially in the agriculture industry.

But Hagemann said wait times for working visas would get in the way. This would require many individuals to rely on welfare programs.

“The problem is, once you’ve located, it’s going to be somewhere between 6 to 12 to 18 months before they get working papers. So there’s nothing they can do in the short term,” he explained.

For now, officials said a state of emergency or executive orders are not needed. They have instead relied on local businesses.

“We have all the faith in the world of our local businesses in that they’re making the right decisions,” Hagemann stated. “The right decision at this point is, frankly, not to house the immigrants because there aren’t the resources to take care of them once they’re located.”

But Jefferson County has asked for help from the state and federal governments so the door doesn’t shut to these migrants completely.

“There is a tremendous need to take care of each individual,” Hagemann expressed. “Once the dust settles a little bit and people get a better understanding of how vast the problem is, then I think we’ll start to see some solutions come together.”

So far in the North Country, St. Lawrence County has been the only county to declare a state of emergency in regard to the end of Title 42. This will remain in effect through the end of May.