ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – As New York City Mayor Eric Adams warns shelters have run out of room to house migrants, 18 News is reviewing the status of migrant emergency declarations in the Southern Tier.
In May, 31 counties in New York State declared states of emergency meant to keep migrants out. Many counties said they did not have the resources to house even several hundred people. The emergency orders banned hotels and other places from housing migrants without County permission, even though there was no official word of a plan to send migrants there.
In June, New York City sued all 31 counties, accusing them of trying to “wall off their borders during a major humanitarian crisis.”
Thursday, Tioga County announced it extended its emergency declaration for 5 days. You can read the full announcement below:
In an email, the Chair of the Tioga County Legislature, Martha Sauerbrey, said she did not have an update on the lawsuit, but said she hoped it will be dismissed. Ms. Saurbrey added:
“This is a very complicated issue, and it is unfortunate that the Federal Government has not stepped in to assist as their help is needed not only in New York City but across the country.”
In Schuyler County, the New York State Supreme Court dismissed New York City”s lawsuit last month. Judge Lyle Frank called the city’s arguments “speculative and without merit.” You can read Judge Frank’s decision here.
Judge Frank’s decision applies to Schuyler County only, County Attorney Steven Getman said in a press release. The other municipalities’ motions are expected to be addressed in separate orders. Getman said he was relieved but not surprised.
“We were likely to succeed on a number of our claims, including mootness, arguments that the city lacked standing against Schuyler County and that the lawsuit was brought in an improper forum,” he said.
The emergency declaration in Schuyler County expired May 21st. Mr. Getman said there are currently no plans to issue a new order.
Chemung County’s emergency declaration also expired. County Executive Chris Moss said he is monitoring the migrant crisis, but there are currently no plans to issue a new order. The lawsuit New York City filed against the County is pending.
Steuben County never declared an emergency. At the time, County Manager Jack Wheeler told 18 News he did not feel there was a valid reason to do so.
Tompkins County also never declared an emergency. 18 News confirmed there are still no plans to do so.
An emergency declaration is still in effect in Broome County. Chris Whalen, an Executive Assistant to Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said the lawsuit filed by New York City is pending.
You can read the full lawsuit filed by New York City below: