ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—-Governor Kathy Hochul has been asking for federally owned sites such as Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn and Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island to be used to shelter asylum seekers.
“I’ve been asking for one in particular—a large airfield, Floyd Bennett Field, and that will be able to handle 2,000+ migrants,” Hochul said at a press conference last Thursday. “We have been supporting directly independent of what the mayor has asked for support for these large scale places and we’ve listed them many times.”
State, federal, and city officials have been touring the locations. After a meeting with the U.S. Department of the Interior on Sunday, the governor’s request is still pending.
In the state budget, $1 billion was allocated to help with the asylum seeker crisis. $250 million is now available to reimburse New York City.
“We are also continuing to pay for the National Guard directly out of our pockets,” said Hochul. “That is a high cost, approaching $200 million dollars for this year and it’s something we’ve agreed to.”
According to the governor’s office, additional New York National Guard personnel are being deployed to Erie County. Close to 2,000 are already helping in New York City.
In a visit to the North County, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was asked about the migrant crisis.
“This is an issue for everyone,” said Heastie. “We really need federal intervention. I was with Senator Schumer the other night again pleading for help, and he said he is going to talk to the Biden Administration.”