NYC Plans to Send Hundreds of Migrants to Stay at Rockland County Hotel for Months

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New York City is running out of hotel space to turn into shelters for migrants, so now city officials are turning to the Hudson Valley.

The Armani Inn in Orangeburg is set to become the latest migrant shelter after the city cut a deal with the inn’s owners to house hundreds of migrants. But some Rockland County officials and residents who live in the area are not happy with the plan, and are wondering why they were not given any warning or say in the matter.

Up to 300 asylum seekers will be bussed up to two hotels, possibly as soon as Saturday or Sunday. In addition to the Orangeburg hotel, migrants will also be transported to a hotel in the Orange County town of Orange Lake.

Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny (Orangeburg is a hamlet of Orangetown) said that Mayor Eric Adams called her Friday morning with the news.

"I actually said it point blank confirming you’re not asking for permission – you’re calling as a courtesy, and he confirmed that, yes," she said. "It's disappointing because we do have a lot of questions."

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said he and other officials were "stunned" when they got word of the plan, calling it "reprehensible." Day denied that he or any member of his staff had been been told about it and said the county's legal department was working to get a temporary injunction to halt the plan.

"This is a duplicitous plan and everybody involved in it should be utterly ashamed of themselves," said Day, a Republican. "You're taking 340 individuals and you might as well drop them in the middle of an ocean and tell them to swim to shore."

Day went a step further, saying Adams was being hypocritical for sending migrants away from his city up to Orange and Rockland counties.

"Mayor Adams is always whining about he and other mayors who are African American have been picked on by Republicans...turn around and now what is he doing? He's doing the exact same thing," Day said. "He's bringing migrants to Republican towns. Orange County, Republican county. Rockland County, Republican county. How interesting is that?"

Fellow Republican Rep. Mike Lawler criticized the mayor for his bussing plan, saying "Rockland County is not a sanctuary county, unlike New York City and its boroughs, and should not bear the costs associated with the Biden administration's abject failure on border security and immigration policy."

NYC said it will foot the bill for sheltering, feeding and providing wrap-around services for the migrants for up to four months. There's still a chance the city could lease other hotels too.

Kenny, also a Republican, said city officials told her that all the migrants being taken to the hotel in her town are single men, but it's unclear when they're coming and how many will be staying at the hotel.

"One of the things I asked point blank are they doing background checks, do they have criminal records. And I was told they didn’t know," said Kenny.

Pictures taken Friday afternoon show a stack of mattresses outside of the inn. Hotel staff inside declined to talk to NBC New York, saying they were too busy preparing to take in the migrants.

"The community is already saturated with people who are not documented, we have day workers on a regular basis that are trying to find jobs," said Orangeburg resident Scott Stout.

In a statement, Mayor Adams, a Democrat, said "This new, voluntary program will provide asylum seekers with temporary housing, access to services, and connections to local communities as they build a stable life in New York state."

But local officials still want more information and details regarding the plan.

"The more info that we can tell and say to our residents is only going to make it that much better for everyone involved," Kenny said.

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