New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) made an announcement on Wednesday regarding the city’s decision to file a lawsuit against 30 counties in New York. The lawsuit is a response to executive orders issued by these counties, which aim to prevent New York City from relocating asylum-seekers to their jurisdictions.
Adams emphasized that the lawsuit seeks to combat what he perceives as xenophobic prejudice and promote solidarity across the state in dealing with the ongoing humanitarian crisis in a just and compassionate manner. New York City argues that these executive orders unlawfully obstruct their efforts to address the statewide emergency and humanitarian situation.
According to the announcement, at least 30 counties have implemented executive orders to prohibit New York City from arranging accommodation for asylum-seekers in hotels within their jurisdictions, with the city covering the expenses. The city’s lawsuit contends that these orders represent an unlawful attempt to hinder New York City’s response to the humanitarian crisis.
The announcement also highlighted an emergency order issued by New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D), which acknowledges the existence of a significant and worsening humanitarian crisis. Currently, New York City is providing shelter to over 47,200 asylum-seekers.
Adams underscored that since the onset of the crisis, New York City has taken on the responsibility of providing shelter, food, clothing, and other essential services to asylum-seekers arriving in the city. However, he called on every locality across the state to fulfill their fair share of responsibilities in addressing the situation.
The lawsuit challenges the counties’ claims that allowing migrants to stay in private hotels would jeopardize public safety, asserting that these concerns lack a solid basis. Adams stated that New York City has consistently alerted about its shelter system reaching its capacity.
While many communities have demonstrated support and enthusiasm in welcoming the new arrivals, Adams criticized elected officials who have attempted to create barriers around their localities through unlawful executive orders.
This legal action follows a temporary restraining order issued by a New York judge, which prevented Adams from relocating additional asylum-seekers to Orange County. Orange County was among the first counties to announce an executive order prohibiting the accommodation of asylum-seekers in private hotels within its jurisdiction. However, the ruling allowed the migrants who were already transported to the county to remain there.
The increase in the number of migrants occurs concurrently with protests by some GOP governors, who have sent thousands of migrants to Democratic-led cities as a form of protest against immigration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border.