The ongoing migrant crisis in New York is expanding outside of the five boroughs of New York City, prompting a heated clash between Republican county executives, the Democratic mayor of New York City and the Democratic governor of the state.

Local officials have decried Mayor Eric Adams' plan to move hundreds of migrants on a voluntary basis to Orange and Rockland counties — a move made as a federal immigration order meant to curb migration is lapsing. 

Emergency orders that would effectively block migrants from hotels and shelters are expanding, meanwhile, to counties not yet affected by Adams' program, potentially styming an effort to prepare for even more people arriving who will need access to food and shelter. 

State leaders have pointed to the $1 billion in aid for ongoing resources to aid migrants and take some pressure off New York City services. Hochul this week issued an order expanding the National Guards members who are dedicated to addressing the crisis. 

But at the same time, elected officials are condemning what they have said is poor communication from state and city officials in the last several days while doubting whether their governments have the resources to handle an influx of people. 

"I think everyone has to be realistic about what they can and can’t do here," said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. "They need to know that. We got some vague answers, not even statements, vague statements from the governor’s people on the call yesterday."

The fight over the migrants has highlighted the polarizing issue in New York state, localizing a national debate over immigration, and pitting upstate leaders against New York City officials. 

Picente on Wednesday unveiled his own county's order, following emergency declarations issued in Rockland, Orange and Rensselaer counties. Hours later, a court order temporarily barred a Rockland County hotel from accepting migrants taken there from New York City. 

Hochul, however, questioned the legality of the orders issued by county executives, while also indicated state officials were bracing for additional people. 

"We believe this is going to continue to grow in scale," Hochul said. "I'm working very closely with the mayor to identify more sites so we can welcome these individuals. They are human beings, they deserve to be treated with dignity."

At the congressional level, U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro condemend the move to house migrants in hotels as "inhumane" and urged top Democrats in New York to petition the Biden administration on the issue. 

"Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams should be putting pressure on President Biden to implement commonsense and compassionate border security and immigration reforms," he said. "Instead, they are relocating hundreds of migrants to Upstate New York counties without proper funding, coordination, or approval from local communities.”

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, whose order allows him approval over another municipality entering into a contract with a hotel, said the order was precaution to addres the issue before it starts. 

"I felt that it was necessary to act before a storm — just like I would act before a storm with a weather emergency or any other event I see coming," he said. 

McLaughlin believes county leaders have the right to issue the emergency orders as a matter of home rule and public protection even over the governor's objection.  

"If she wants to have a fight, I think everyone knows I’m willing to have a fight and so are the other county executives," he said. "We are going to do what we need to do to keep our people safe. We’re showing we’re trying to protect our people and protect our resources."

Democratic elected officials have also urged the federal government to step in and provide the immediate resources to aid migrants. But they also point to the need to aid struggling people. 

"We have a moral obligation to support these folks," said Assemblywoman Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas. "These folks are leaving countries that have been destabilized, that are dangerous. We have the Statute of Liberty in the harbor saying bring us your huddle masses. We have an obligation to do that."