Oneida County Issues Emergency Order Ahead of Expected Migrant Surge
Oneida County's Executive has issued an emergency order as the federal government's Title 42 expires, and is expected to lead to a surge of migrants coming through the U.S. - Mexico border.
Anthony Picente's order prohibits migrants and undocumented immigrants from being put up in local hotels and shelters.
"This has been a problem that's in the news every single day in terms of what is happening with the number of undocumented migrants/immigrants, but there comes an a time where you have a capacity issue. We have a capacity issue in this community now in dealing with homelessness and meeting the immediate emergency needs of people who have fallen on hard times...just a few months ago we were opening the county office building at night to have people come in from the cold weather."
"If you want to just bus and drop people in communities, I think there has to be a discussion about it first. It's important for us to take a stand and say we can't accept them," Picente said on WIBX 950 Keeler in the Morning Show Thursday.
"When you have undocumented immigrants, they aren't eligible under the law for SNAP, Medicaid and other forms of public assistance..." Picente said. "So if you bussed people in and have them stay in a hotel, what's next? How do they eat, etc. and who pays for that?"
Picente said the area is very welcoming, and pointed to The Center in Utica that accepts and places thousands of refugees in the community as an example. However, in that case, he said there is process in place, it's more than a bus load of people showing up unexpectedly who are in need of services.