Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, Wednesday, declared a state of emergency and issued an executive order prohibiting any hotels or motels that offer short-term rentals from housing migrants or asylum seekers.
The ban comes one day after a state supreme court judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the relocation of further migrants to Orange County. More than 100 are currently lodged at two hotels in the Town of Newburgh, under orders from New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
The executive order specifically targets Texas Governor Greg Abbott who "has seen fit to relocate thousands of migrants and asylum seekers crossing the Texas border to New York City" and the City of New York for transporting them to Orange County.
A full text of the executive order follows:
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2 OF 2023 DECLARING A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN ORANGE COUNTY IN RELATION TO TRANSPORTATION OF MIGRANT AND ASYLUM
SEEKERS TO ORANGE COUNTY
I, Steven M. Neuhaus, County Executive of the County of Orange, State of New York, do hereby declare as an EXECUTIVE ORDER the following:
WHEREAS, there is a national immigration crisis at the border between the United States and Mexico in that unprecedented and overwhelming numbers of migrants and asylum seekers are crossing over the open border of the United States; and
WHEREAS, the Federal government has failed or refused to anticipate and react to the exigent and emergent circumstances, resulting in thousands of migrants and asylum seekers crossing the U.S. border; and
WHEREAS, the Governor of Texas has seen fit to relocate thousands of migrants and asylum seekers crossing the Texas border to New York City; and
WHEREAS, the City of New York has transported numerous migrant and/or asylum seekers to Orange County; and
WHEREAS, there is no reason to believe that these migrants or asylum seekers will leave Orange County after New York City ceases to pay for the housing and any services they are presently receiving in New York City, or that that many thousands more migrants or asylum seekers will not be transported to Orange County; and
WHEREAS, there is a reasonable apprehension of immediate danger of public emergency of potentially thousands of persons being transported to Orange County and that Orange County will be responsible for the public safety of these persons and all others effected in Orange County; and
WHEREAS, The County of Orange is not capable of receiving and sustaining such volume of migrants and asylum seekers that New York City intends to or hereafter does transport to the County, whose presence will spike the number of people in need of government services at all levels of government in the County; and
WHEREAS, there is no legal basis to provide adequate services to these migrants or asylum seekers by the County's Department of Social Services because of their age and immigration status; and
WHEREAS, The County of Orange anticipates potential civil disobedience and protesting on this issue both for and against the transportation of migrants/asylum seekers to Orange County; and
WHEREAS, local zoning codes do not allow use of temporary residence hotels or other temporary residence facilities for use as long term residential housing and therefore New York City's transportation of migrants and asylum seekers to Orange County for that purpose is illegal; and
WHEREAS, through enforcement of local zoning codes, said migrants and/or asylum seekers will face refusal, or eviction from the illegal hotels and short term residential facilities, resulting in large scale homelessness for these migrants and asylum seekers, potentially at the cost and expense of Orange County; and
WHEREAS, as all temporary housing shelter beds in Orange County are currently at maximum capacity and cannot accommodate additional homeless individuals; and
WHEREAS, the locations for which The City of New York intends to transport said migrants and/or asylum seekers to Orange County have inadequate infrastructure to meet the needs of said individuals, including but not limited to transportation to work, food, medical care, and pharmaceutical opportunities; and
WHEREAS, that due to the above circumstances, I find reasonable apprehension of immediate danger thereof that public safety is imperiled thereby, for not only the migrant and asylum seekers, but also to the other affected residents of Orange County; and
WHEREAS, on May 8, 2023, I issued a proclamation (Executive Order No. I of 2023) declaring a State of Emergency and order issued under Executive Order I of 2023; and
NOW THEREFORE, I hereby further extend such State of Emergency and order to the maximum expiration date permissible by law:
That all hotels, motels and/or any facilities allowing short term rentals do not contract and/or accept said migrants and/or asylum seekers for long-term housing within Orange County.
This proclamation/declaration and the orders in relation thereto are pursuant to my powers contained within the Orange County Charter (Section 3.02-q) and Administrative Code (Section 3-2-q) and Section 24 of the Executive Law of the State of New York.
I FURTHER FIND that this State of Emergency does not in any way impact travel or County employees or County operations, is not weather related, and does not suspend County operations. This Executive Order and all portions thereof shall take effect immediately, be filed and published as required by law, and individually expire as required by law.
Orange County Executive