migrant crisis

Wedding Parties Lose Hotel Rooms to Migrants Bused to Suburbs; County Fights NYC Plan

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As New York City prepares for the arrival of additional asylum seekers in the wake of Title 42 expiring, a suburban county is taking new action to fight the city's plan to bus migrants to hotels there.

Orange County and the town of Newburgh filed three lawsuits on Friday to block the city from placing migrants in area hotels. The lawsuits against NYC, The Crossroads, and the Ramada by Wyndham seek to halt any use of the hotels as temporary shelters.

"It’s a complete mess and the government has not been forthright and honest with us," said Orange County Supervisor Steve Neuhaus.

In response to those lawsuits, the New York City Mayor’s Office said it was reviewing its legal options.

"New York City has cared for more than 65,000 migrants — sheltering, feeding, and caring for them, and we have done so largely without incident. We need the federal government to step up, but until they do, we need other elected officials around the state and country to do their part," a spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. "Right now, we’re asking Orange County to manage less than ¼ of 1% of the asylum seekers who have come to New York City, with New York paying for shelter, food, and services.

The heated political back and forth continues as couples said they, too, were blindsided by The Crossroads Hotel. They told NBC New York that they lost their hotel rooms for their wedding parties due to the migrants staying there.    

With a wedding in almost a week, Queens couple Sean and Nicole are now beyond stressed due to the last minute hole in their plans. They said they have family coming from Ireland, England, Canada, Ecuador and Japan for their upcoming nuptials, and blocked out 37 rooms at The Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh.

But all those rooms set for next weekend are now canceled, as dozens of asylum seekers arrived and moved in on Thursday.

"We figured it would be a situation where they’d be there, we’d be there and it’d be fine," said Sean, who was hoping they'd be able to share the hotel with the migrants.

But when they called the hotel manager, they were told that the hotel has canceled all blocks for the next few months. The couple said they still have not received an official email stating their block of rooms is cancelled. But they’ve since been scrambling telling their family and friends what happened, and are working on re-booking — while time is ticking.

"If we hadn’t called them, they wouldn’t have called or emailed us," Sean said.

Gaby Acevedo reporting on the buses of migrants expected today in New York City.

Another couple, Gary Moretti and Deanna Mifsud, are getting married on June 24 and had more than 15 rooms booked at The Crossroads Hotel — which they were also told are cancelled, but only after they called Friday morning.

"You’re just going in circles because nobody wants to say anything and then they just hang up on you," said Mifsud, as Moretti called the ordeal "mindblowing."

But the couples are staying positive, or at least trying to, for their special day coming up.

"There's really no excuse for not communicating with us," Sean said. "What matters is that we’re there, and our friends and family can see us there. So in a way, it’s kind of brought home what’s most important about the whole thing."

NBC New York made multiple calls to The Crossroads Hotel Friday evening, but the phone went unanswered.

A bitter battle continues as New York City has moved forward with its plan to bus migrant men to the suburbs. Dozens of asylum seekers are spending their first night at a hotel in Newburgh, amid local opposition and a growing legal fight. NBC New York's Chris Jose reports.

Meanwhile, another city is pushing back against the city's plan to transport migrants. Yonkers says it welcomes the roughly 100 asylum seekers set to arrive in the coming days — but condemns what it calls the lack of communication from the Adams administration, a frequent refrain from suburban leaders over the past few days.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said the migrants will be bused to the Ramada Inn on Tuckahoe Road, with his own police force giving him the heads up Friday. He said he heard nothing from NYC or the Adams adminsitration.

"What we’re saying is, where are the resources?" Spano told NBC New York, as he said his city is now scrambling to help hundreds of others with little notice. 

"You’re talking about a hundred families. Are you talking about two kids per family, three kids per family? I don’t know. We have to prepare our school district for it. And the answer I got was: Be happy it’s summer time," said Spano.

He said that migrant families will be housed at the hotel for at least a year, with the first bus expected to arrive on Sunday. 

Mayor Adams’ office said that Yonkers was given two days' notice.

"I have not spoke directly to Mayor Adams. I did speak directly to his deputy chief of staff who apologized and said I was on her list to call," Spano said.

The busing of migrants to the suburbs despite local opposition is sparking a major legal battle. Sarah Wallace reports.

But it's not just those outside New York City who are unhappy with Adams' effort to find housing for migrants. Some within the city have new concerns as well.

In Brooklyn, City Councilmember Ari Kagan said he found out on Friday that some asylum seekers would be housed in a gym at P.S. 188 in Coney Island. He called that "unacceptable," and raised concerns about student safety.

Kagan later said he was told the school would be used only as a future "overflow" site, if necessary.

According to a city hall spokesperson, no one had been currently staying at P.S. 188 and added that "security" would be on hand at sites where migrants are staying.

At Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal, asylum seekers continue to stream in as the rate of buses isn't slowing down, adding to the growing tally of 65,000 migrants who moved to New York City in the past year. 

"I think the governor has not done enough to what she can do, help us coordinate a statewide response," said NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is now asking President Joe Biden to allow NYC to use military or federal land, including Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, to build an emergency shelter for migrants.

"This incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and local government," the letter stated.

Gaby Acevedo reporting on Mayor Adams' new executive orders in preparation for a possible influx of migrants.

Adams has gone a step further and has been transparent in his criticisms of the Biden administration, saying "the national government has turned its back on NYC."

It comes as the entire New York City Congressional Delegation sent a letter to the president asking the federal government to allow asylum seekers to work here legally.

"Without work, many are forced to seek services from government and non-government groups, straining resources in a completely preventable manner," the letter stated.

Homeland Security officials do not agree, however, with a fast track to work, saying it could incentivize people to cross illegally.

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