Homeless Vets, Wedding Guests Displaced From Hotel to be Used for Migrants

Mayor Eric Adams said New York City, a sanctuary city, was "out of room."


Orange County secured a restraining order Tuesday to prevent New York City from sending more migrants there, amid reports that homeless vets in the area were being displaced from hotels to house migrants.

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said that NYC officials knew the order was coming and tried to flood the area, which is about 65 miles from the city, before it took effect.

NYC's Mayor, Eric Adams, said the city will struggle to house thousands more migrants expected to arrive following the end of Title 42 measures introduced during the coronavirus pandemic to stop people entering the country illegally.

'Not the migrants' fault'

Around 180 people were sent to Newburgh, a city of about 30,000 people in Orange, over the past week to live in The Crossroads Hotel and Newburgh Ramada, where veterans also had been staying.

The veterans said they were told they had to leave to make room, according to local ABC News.

One told the channel: "I got to find me another hotel. I was going to try to get back here but it's not happening."

At Crossroads, a wedding guest booking made months ago for more than 30 rooms was canceled to make space for asylum seekers, reports CBS News.

"I don't think that it's really beneficial to myself or (bride) Nicole to take our anger out on New York City, or on Orange County, or on the hotel," groom-to-be Sean Plunkett told CBS: "At this point we really just want our wedding to be as wonderful a day as we've hoped."

The Messenger has approached Choice Hotels for comment.

Grassroots group For The Many, which advocates for change in New York, argued that this isn't migrants' fault, instead blaming poor planning for affordable housing:

"None of this is asylum seekers’ fault: They didn’t choose their hotels and they certainly aren’t trying to displace anyone.

"The fact that we are sheltering anyone in hotels—asylum seeker, homeless veteran, or otherwise—proves that we need more housing options and strong tenant protections."

No more migrants for Orange County

But Neuhaus is arguing that “New York City should not be establishing a homeless shelter outside of its borders in Orange County.”

“The city is a self-proclaimed sanctuary city; Orange County is not. We should not have to bear the burden of the immigration crisis that the federal government and (New York City) Mayor Adams created, and I will continue to fight for Orange County’s residents in regard to this important manner.”

The restraining order means that if any of the 186 asylum seekers moves out of the two hotels, NYC officials are not allowed to replace them in those spaces with new migrants.

Orange also filed two lawsuits, one against the hotels alleging that they're breaking the county's state of emergency order, and another designed to stop New York City Mayor Eric Adams from building temporary shelters in the county, at least for now.

Rockland County, about 40 miles outside of New York City, also was granted a restraining order against the city.

“This county has a severe housing crisis subjecting many low-income families in Rockland to overcrowded and unsafe living conditions," said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “Quadrupling the number of homeless in this county overnight, as the city is intending to do, will only compound our housing crisis and lead to more people living in these dangerously inhumane conditions that we are fighting to fix.”

Mayor calls for entire state to help

Adams, however, has argued that the state, not just New York City, must share the burden.

"I don't know if people were actually hearing me these last few months as I constantly stated that this was a day that was going to come when we literally would run out of room," Adams told 1010 WINS. "We woke up today and we're here at that day. We're out of room here in this city and we are doing everything possible to do a decompression strategy so that New Yorkers won't continue to be overburdened."

Organizations are trying to help those who have been bussed out of the city.

The Neighbors Link group is assisting with welcoming migrants and solving their legal issues, while the New York Immigration Coalition called for better dialogue.

Coalition Executive Director Murad Awawdeh said the group believes every state and community has the capacity to help with the migrant crisis.

“NYC Mayor Eric Adams and Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus need to start coordinating and planning to ensure the health and well-being of the asylum seekers sent to the region," he said. "But County Executive Neuhaus shouldn’t be gloating about the judge’s temporary restraining order.

"His actions in response to asylum seekers to his region have been shameful — he has done nothing more than stoke fear and resentment in his community."

"Luckily, community organizations, churches, and everyday people in Orange County and in cities across the country have stepped up to greet new arrivals. Together, communities across New York State can create a welcoming New York for all, no matter when people arrived or how they got here.”

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