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NY: GOP Minority Leaders Call on Gov. Hochul to Petition Biden on State of Emergency Over Migrant Crisis

Published: September 26, 2022
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt (Center), Minority Leader of New York City Council, Joe Borelli (left) and Council Member Joann Ariola conduct a press conference on the steps of New York’s City Hall calling for NYS Gov. Hochul to petition President Biden to declare an official state of emergency over the ongoing migrant crisis. (Image: Courtesy Rob Ortt)

On Sept. 22, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and Joe Borelli, Minority Leader of the New York City Council, on the steps of City Hall in New York City, called for Gov. Kathy Hochul to petition President Biden to declare an official emergency to address the city’s ongoing migrant crisis. 

“This is nothing short of a humanitarian crisis,” Senate Minority Leader Ortt said adding that, “New York City is at its breaking point and can’t afford more financial burden as it desperately tries to recover from the pandemic. Hard-working, law-abiding New Yorkers are fed up with the disastrous results of dysfunctional government and partisan leadership.”

“Elected leaders need to drop the politics and declare this crisis for what it is: a federal emergency,” Ortt said. 

Council Minority Leader Borellis said, “With thousands of migrants flooding our city every week and pushing our shelter system to its breaking point, it is way past time for Governor Hochul to activate the New York State Emergency Plan and formally request President Biden to declare that New York City is in a state of emergency.”

Under immense strain, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has resorted to sending bus after bus, loaded with illegal immigrants, to cities that have designated themselves as “sanctuary cities” in an attempt to demonstrate how dire the situation is at the southern border. 

Abbott has sent thousands of immigrants to New York City placing significant strain on the city’s social service infrastructure.  

The influx has resulted in what homeless-rights activists in the city called New York City’s worst failure to provide services in more than a decade


On Sept. 12 the city’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) failed to find sixty migrants, all men, shelter representing the first violation of the city’s court-ordered right-to-shelter rule for single adult males in 13 years, the NY Post reported. 

The failure followed the arrival of over 10,000 migrants to the city since the beginning of summer. 

“We don’t have the infrastructure to support the needs of asylum seekers. We need President Biden to provide federal dollars to make sure that the families that are coming in are not separated into different rooms and hotels. How can we sustain thousands and thousands of asylum seekers coming into our city every day without the federal government’s aid?” said Council Member Joann Ariola. 

Reportedly, Gov. Hochul has said that she has been having conversations with the President concerning the matter however to date has failed to take any official action in the face of the crisis. 

An official emergency declaration by the President, typically prompted by a request from a Governor, would unlock Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds and resources to assist New York in managing the growing crisis. 

To date, both the Gov. of Illinois and the Mayor of the District of Columbia have declared states of emergency in order to obtain federal aid to manage the crisis for their jurisdictions.

Without federal funds, the entire burden of the crisis falls on New Yorkers, which many say is as a result of the federal government’s failure to secure the southern border. 

According to data, published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, this fiscal year, authorities had over 2.2 million encounters with people attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally and had encounters with over 13 thousand unaccompanied minors, at the southern border, in the month of July 2022 alone.

“Governor Hochul must act right now and ask the President to declare a State of Emergency in New York City so we can get the federal funding and assistance that is desperately needed,” Ortt said.