A statement from Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown)
“With an unprecedented number of migrants crossing the southern border and heading to New York, our state has become the epicenter of America’s illegal immigration crisis. Today, it was reported that a series of arrests involving violent crimes have been made outside Albany at a hotel where more than 100 migrants are being housed. It was further reported that one of the migrants involved in these incidents had been previously arrested in New York City before being transported to the Albany area through Mayor Adams’ migrant relocation program. This follows multiple incidents of rape at a hotel in suburban Buffalo resulting from Adams’ policies.
Aggressive action must be taken to end this crisis and protect New York taxpayers and our communities from being forced to bear the burden of the Biden administration’s failed immigration policies.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the New York State Supreme Court gave New York City and New York state a pathway to escape this crisis. In Herkert v. State of New York, Justice Ozzi concluded that a “right to shelter,” which has been cited by Mayor Adams as requiring New York City to provide taxpayer-funded lodging, food and other accommodations for migrants does not, in fact, exist under the New York State Constitution. In addition, the court said that the 1981 consent decree emanating from Callahan v. Carey does not require New York City to grant any “right to shelter” to migrants. Succinctly, the court stated that any decision to do so was by choice.
This ruling clearly provides the vehicle through which New York can, in Mayor Adams’ own words, prevent the cost of the migrant crisis from “destroying” the city. Gov. Hochul’s position that the consent decree was intended to be “an unlimited universal right or obligation on the city to have to house literally the entire world” is not rooted in law.
Notwithstanding these sensible statements, Mayor Adams’ office inexplicably indicated that the city would “immediately appeal this ruling, which we believe is incorrect in key respects and which threatens to disrupt efforts to manage this national humanitarian crisis.” Equally disconcerting, Gov. Hochul has publicly retreated from her stated belief that the border “is too open” and she has also walked back her claim that a “more thoughtful, balanced national immigration…policy” is needed. She was right the first time.
As a first step, Mayor Adams and Gov. Hochul must reverse course and allow the court’s decision in Herkert to stand unchallenged and immediately act to undo any policies based on the improper application of the 1981 consent decree to undocumented migrants and the flawed interpretation of the state constitution. When coupled with rescinding the executive order establishing New York as a sanctuary state, the tools would then be in place to solve this crisis and ensure the safety of our communities.
If the governor and mayor fail to take this pragmatic, commonsense approach, I will be introducing legislation in the New York State Assembly to implement Justice Ozzi’s decision. Given the violent crime the ongoing migrant crisis has brought to our communities and its $12 billion price tag, the future of our state depends on it.”