N.Y. (WETM) — New York City is suing 31 counties across New York State, including Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, and Tioga, for declaring states of emergency during the migrant crisis.
In a lawsuit filed on June 7, New York City is asking the New York Supreme Court to declare these states of emergency null and void. This would allow the City to temporarily house migrants in hotels across New York State.
According to the lawsuit, over 72,000 migrants from the southern border have arrived in New York City as of June 2. The City is temporarily housing thousands of these migrants in over 100 emergency shelters operated by the Department of Homeless and in other locations. As hundreds of migrants arrive in New York City every day, the City is seeking hotel rooms outside of its jurisdiction to temporarily house them at the City’s expense.
In response to New York City’s request to temporarily house migrants in hotels around the state, 31 counties issued states of emergency. These states of emergency stated that housing migrants would threaten public safety. The declarations also imposed penalties on any parties that decided to house them.
In the lawsuit, the City refers to the influx of migrants as an “ongoing statewide humanitarian crisis” and says that the states of emergency are obstructing the City’s “lawful and reasonable” efforts to address the crisis. The lawsuit also says that the counties mentioned in the suit are violating discrimination laws by not providing housing to migrants based on their nationalities (Title II of the Civil Rights Act and the New York State Human Rights Law).
New York City is also arguing that the county executives who declared the states of emergency were acting in excess of their authority. The lawsuit states that these declarations can only be made “in the event of a disaster, rioting, catastrophe, or similar public emergency” or if public safety is at risk. The City claims that public safety would not be at risk from hotels hosting a few hundred migrants, particularly because the City would be paying for everything and providing transportation and social services.
The full lawsuit filed by New York City can be found below.