NIMBY — “not in my back yard” — is a concept that is alive and well in the suburbs of New York City, where residents are not at all happy about a plan approved by the mayor to ship illegal migrants to their neighborhoods.
“With New York City struggling to cope with a continuing influx of migrants seeking asylum, Mayor Eric Adams on Friday announced a new strategy: The city would begin paying for shelter at two suburban locations outside the five boroughs,” The New York Times reported this week. “It took less than a day for the plan to hit a wall. Officials in one of the two counties strongly rejected the city’s relocation efforts and declared a state of emergency to thwart the attempt.”
The resistance is one of the initial obstacles to Mayor Adams’s decompression approach, which is aimed at relieving the burden of accommodating the city’s increasing number of asylum seekers. And it comes at a time when many more are expected to seek asylum in New York as a border policy that was implemented during the pandemic is set to expire soon, the Times’ report continued.
The plan consists of offering shelter, food, and medical services for up to four months to about 300 men in two hotels located in Rockland and Orange Counties, which are situated north of New York City.
Despite Adams’s claim of consultation with the state and local officials, at least two officials expressed that they were taken aback by the plan and pledged to oppose it, the paper said.
“It felt like they were trying to do a Friday night drop,” Teresa Kenny, the town supervisor of Orangetown, who told the Times that she found out about the plan just hours before Adams announced the move. “I feel like the mayor called me to check a box so he couldn’t be criticized for not talking to us.”
Rockland County executive Ed Day expressed surprise at Adams’s plan and quickly took action to try to stop it. On Saturday, he issued a state of emergency order, which states that no municipality can transport or shelter migrants in Rockland without his permission.
Mind you, New York is filled with Democratic leaders who, for years, have claimed that the Big Apple is a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens, they were welcome there, and that the city would not cooperate with federal immigration authorities to locate and deport any New York resident in the country illegally.
Until Republican governors began sending illegal immigrants to the blue cities by the busload.
“Whatever we need to do to stop this, we will do,” Day, a Republican, told the Times in an interview. He also warned that the county is ready to issue fines of up to $2,000 per violation per day to any hotel that accepts asylum seekers from the program.
“They’re basically dumping them into a county where we’re not prepared for them,” he said.
It remains uncertain if the state of emergency declaration will impede New York City officials from arranging the transfer of migrants. New York City had already declared its own state of emergency in October 2021 to request federal resources to manage the increasing migrant population, The Times reported.
Stephen Acquario, the executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, said: “We need leadership here, because this is an area of unfamiliar, uncharted waters,” he said.
He added that the legal battle to prevent the transfer of migrants to Rockland is likely to be decided in court. He also pointed out that the county also has a law in place that prohibits hotel guests from staying for more than 30 days at a time, which could present another challenge.