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New York could spend $800M to build migrant camps

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  • Staff Report 

In response to the ongoing migrant crisis, New York state officials recently awarded a contract nearing $800 million to two Texas-based companies, Garner Environmental Services and Cotton Commercial, to secure temporary migrant sheltering services.

The Albany Times Union reported the contracts a week after Garner Environmental made a $5,000 contribution, the maximum allowed for the calendar year, to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s campaign.

The Executive Chamber distanced itself from the procurement process details, stating it wasn’t involved and that a third company is yet to be determined for involvement in the five-year contract.

Governor Hochul’s administration maintains that campaign contributions do not influence government decisions, and that there is a distinct separation between campaign activities and government operations.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

However, critics argue that these types of contributions can lead to perceptions of pay-to-play tactics, undermining public trust.

Acquired under an emergency order issued by Governor Hochul in response to the migrant crisis, the contract could potentially be used to set up migrant shelters or camps. The state Office of General Services reviewed companies already approved by the federal government to provide similar services.

No plans for this are current in place, though.