(The Center Square) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is extending an emergency order as the state grapples with tens of thousands of asylum-seekers.
Hochul said extending the emergency order through Nov. 21 will give the state more flexibility to procure resources for local municipalities to support asylum-seekers and provide humanitarian aid.
“My administration remains committed to ensuring state and local officials have all of the support they need to address this unprecedented humanitarian crisis,” she said in a statement.
Hochul, a Democrat, initially declared the state of emergency in May as the Title 42 COVID-19 restrictions on asylum were set to expire. New York has seen a surge of asylum-seekers since the end of the federal policy, which had allowed the U.S. to expel migrants at the southern border quickly. She extended the order in August.
The emergency executive powers gave the state “greater flexibility” to divert resources to cities and towns to support asylum-seekers, and authorized the state to deploy more National Guard members to provide “logistical and operational support.” Nearly 2,000 troops have been deployed to help with asylum-seeker processing and legal work.
The extended order will also allow the state and localities to bypass normal procurement rules to quickly purchase supplies and resources, including food and equipment, for the migrants.
New York state has seen more than 125,000 migrants arrive over the past year amid a surge of immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border that has reached historic levels in recent months.
New York City is caring for more than 64,000 migrants in more than 200 emergency shelters, with the city’s cost of responding to the crisis expected to grow to $12 billion over the next several years. The state has already spent more than $1 billion on housing and other necessities for the migrants.
Republicans have long argued that New York City’s right-to-shelter law and other “sanctuary” policies are encouraging migrants who enter the country illegally to travel to the Empire State. They’ve also criticized state and federal spending on housing and other taxpayer-funded support for migrants.
“New Yorkers are fed up with #OnePartyRule shoveling their tax dollars into a furnace,” Republican Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt posted on social media. “Albany and Washington should work on securing the border and making life more affordable. Instead, they spend time arguing over woke policies and money for illegals.”
Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams have asked a state judge to temporarily suspend the requirement amid the surge of migrants and expand the state’s powers to respond to emergencies.
But the move to lift the right to shelter requirements is being challenged by immigrant rights groups, who claim it would put asylum-seeking families with children “out of the street.”