Supervisors declare State of Emergency over migrants


By Patsy Nicosia

Fearing “an unprecedented influx of foreign migrants” from the Southern Border through New York City that they can’t handle and that they believe threatens public safety, supervisors Friday declared a state of emergency, effective at noon.
The state of emergency declaration was crafted using a template from the New York Association of Counties, said supervisors’ chair Bill Federice, as a way of telling the state “We’re not doing it,”–housing migrants that under Governor Kathy Hochul’s own emergency order, could be transported upstate for short—or long term--emergency housing.
Mr. Federice signed the declaration at 9:14am.
It must be renewed every five days and may need to be “tweaked” as the fluid situation evolves, he said.
Supervisors also expanded on the emergency declaration with Resolution 64, “Resolution in Opposition of the Transportation of Foreign Migrants to Schoharie County,” which County Attorney Mike West read aloud.
The resolution references the fact that Schoharie County is already struggling to house and support its existing homeless population—and in fact, is exploring the possibility of turning the old jail into a shelter with wrap-around services.
“The State of New York is better positioned and equipped to utilize state-owned and operated facilities…” the resolution continues; among those the state has suggested are SUNYs, including SUNY Cobleskill.
Supervisors didn’t like that idea either.
“What’s going to happen when the students return in August?” asked Mr. Federice, a question he said he took to state officials.
“Turn them out in the streets? Turn them over to Donna [Becker, Social Services commissioner]?”
Mr. Federice said the state’s also suggested the migrants could fill a worker shortage on local farms—a shortage he said he’s unaware of.
“If there is a need, what are you going to do with them when the season ends? There is no place, No room at the inn.”
Mr. Federice said he’s been getting “10-20 calls a day” on the migrants—which supervisors alternately called illegal migrants and illegal aliens.
“Every single one said ‘You’ve got to do something,’” Mr. Federice said.
“Maybe we don’t need to refer to them as illegal,” suggested Schoharie Supervisor Alan Tavenner.
“But they are. They’re illegal migrants, illegal aliens,” said Seward Supervisor Earlin Rosa—who’s chairing the Homeless Strategy Committee--and pointed to the fact that the county’s already providing services to 22 local families at a cost of $1.5-$2 million a year.
“Imagine doubling that,” he said. Be prepared. It’s going to get ugly.
But “Is it illegal if we open the door and let them in?” asked Mr. Tavenner. “Some senile old man [President Joe Biden] opened the door.
Nearby, Otsego and Delaware Counties have also declared a state of emergency over the migrants.