COOPERSTOWN, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Otsego County joins a growing list of New York Counties that have declared a state of emergency due to the ending of Title 42 immigration policy.

The Chairman of the Otsego County Board of Representatives, David Bliss has declared a State of Emergency in Otsego County effective May 16, 2023, as asylum seekers are expected to arrive in New York as federal Title 42 immigration policy which expired on May 11.

The State of Emergency was issued in concert with Governor Hochul’s Executive Order Declaring a Disaster Emergency in the State of New York. The Otsego County State of Emergency will last for 30 days, till June 15th.

Chairman Bliss also issued an Executive Order (EO) pursuant to Section 24 of the New York State Executive Law, which addresses Otsego County’s housing crisis due to the limited number of temporary and permanent housing along with the County’s financial and logistical inability to receive and sustain any number of migrants and/or asylum seekers.

The Otsego Executive Order will provide the County with access to potential federal and/or State funding necessary for the support of any asylum seekers who may arrive in Otsego County.

The EO will be in effect for five (5) days ending May 20th. We expect the EO will be extended several times to allow for extensive community comment and for the full board to weigh in at the Board of Representatives’ next public meeting on June 7th.  Said Bliss, “There are a lot of predictions and speculation but very little actual data at the moment.”

Chairman Bliss said that the County is currently assessing the potential impact of migrants coming into the County and evaluating the capability of the County to provide support.

Bliss said, “I am concerned if we do not properly plan for any influx of migrants resulting from the change in federal Title 42, we may see a substantial increase in homelessness in our communities, as well as an excessive financial burden on the citizens of Otsego County.  State and/or federal funding must accompany any relocations so as not to deplete our already limited resources dedicated to the care of our existing homeless and distressed population.”

This comes after the Broome County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that hotels in Broome County have been approached by NYC firms to house migrants.