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State may put asylum seekers in student housing at SUNY campuses

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  • Staff Report 

New York state officials are seeking solutions as they face an influx of asylum seekers following the expiration of Title 42, a policy permitting swift expulsion of migrants amid pandemic-related health concerns.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The rise in asylum seekers has led to overcrowding in New York City shelters, prompting Governor Kathy Hochul to request federal assistance for housing and appeal for a change in work authorization rules. Additionally, she’s considering using state-owned properties, such as SUNY campuses, as potential temporary shelters. However, long-term feasibility concerns arise as students are expected to return by August.

These measures have sparked controversy among state leaders, with some, like Congressman Brandon Williams, attributing the issue to President Biden’s open border policy. Counties north of New York City, including Orange, Rockland, and Rensselaer, have declared states of emergency, prohibiting housing contracts for asylum seekers with New York City.

Further north, Oneida and Broome counties followed suit, while Onondaga County is assessing the potential strain on infrastructure. The proposition to use SUNY facilities for migrant housing has drawn criticism from Republican representatives Claudia Tenney and Elise Stefanik, citing concerns about safety, funding, and vetting of migrants. Oswego County also issued an Emergency Order limiting local entities’ involvement in housing migrants without proper authorization.

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