In the wake of New York City's migrant crisis and the Assembly Majority's contentious push to mandate upstate counties to accept NYC migrants via Assembly Bill A07992 (Rajkumar), Assemblyman Anil Beephan has taken a decisive step to, in his opinion,  protect the interests of Dutchess County residents.

On Tuesday, September 12th, Beephan filed a crucial bill with the Assembly Legislative Index that seeks to prevent the City of New York from relocating migrants to Dutchess County.

“Notwithstanding any provisions of law, rule or regulation to the contrary, no person or entity shall relocate migrants from any location within the City of New York to any location within the county of Dutchess, state of New York, for the purpose of permanent or temporary housing. This act shall take effect immediately.”

The Reasoning Behind Assemblyman Beephan's Proposal

Assemblyman Beephan’s proposal is rooted in the understanding that Dutchess County faces financial and infrastructural constraints that an influx of migrants would exacerbate. Such pressures could lead to the elimination of critical services that Dutchess County residents rely on daily. Therefore, this bill serves as a safeguard ensuring that Dutchess County is not forced into the role of a sanctuary county.

YouTube / Eyewitness News ABC7 NY
YouTube / Eyewitness News ABC7 NY

Highlighting the importance of local decision-making, Assemblyman Beephan asserted, "This is a local-based issue, and we, as representatives, should have the right to determine what happens in our districts."

This statement underscores his commitment to prioritizing the welfare and interests of his constituents in Dutchess County.

A Fair Balance Between Responsible Governance and Local Autonomy

Assemblyman Beephan’s proposal recognizes the need for a balanced approach that respects the challenges faced by counties while addressing the broader humanitarian issue of asylum seekers in New York City. It aims to strike a fair balance that upholds the principles of responsible governance and local autonomy.

As this bill progresses through the legislative process, Assemblyman Beephan remains steadfast in his dedication to representing the people of Dutchess County and safeguarding their interests.

New York City Mayor Does Not "See An Ending" to the Migrant Crisis

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that New York City is not receiving national support for its migrant crisis. Adams claims that the influx of over 110,000 asylum seekers from the border will "destroy New York City."

For months, Adams has criticized President Biden and Governor Hochul for failing to help the city handle the asylum seekers and pleaded for additional funding and expedited work permits.

YouTube / Eyewitness News ABC7 NY
YouTube / Eyewitness News ABC7 NY

Adams pointed to new projections that the city’s budget gap could grow to nearly $12 billion — the same amount that city officials estimate that the migrants could cost the city over three years. The surge of migrants crossing the southern border has overwhelmed the city with nearly 60,000 occupying beds in traditional city shelters and in more than 200 emergency shelters. An estimated 20,000 migrant children were expected to start school in the city this month.

Some Claim Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Goes Against the Legacy of New York City

Some have criticized Adams, such as the New York Immigration Coalition. Executive Director of the Coalition, Murad Awawdeh, fears violence and discrimination towards the migrants. “What we’ve seen with the rhetoric he’s using is that it’s activating people in a negative way against their new neighbors,” he said. “The mayor should know better. The contributions of the immigrant community here have been seismic.”

YouTube / Eyewitness News ABC7 NY
YouTube / Eyewitness News ABC7 NY

The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless said that Mr. Adams’s comments, “villainize people who fled unimaginable situations in their home countries."

Anne Williams-Isom, New York City's deputy mayor for health and human services, said at the news briefing that the right-to-shelter provision was a major reason the migrants were choosing to come to the city. Williams-Isom said,

Before, the right to shelter and what’s going on in New York City was like our little secret. Now the whole globe knows that if you go to New York City, we’re going to do what we always do. We have a big heart. We have compassion. We’re going to take care of people.

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