BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With more than 71,000 migrants currently in New York and mostly in New York City, Gov. Kathy Hochul says she has been working all week with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the federal government to find housing options.
"We're working closely with them, literally hour by hour, trying to identify places where there are welcoming communities," Hochul said.
A number of upstate counties have already indicated they are not welcoming the migrant population, declaring states of emergency. Those county leaders say they don't have the resources or space to assist.
"There's not a cost to the locality. This is simply allowing people to be welcome whether it's in a hotel, if it is a campus, and the money follows them. The money will cover the costs of all the services they will need. I think a lot of people don't know that yet. They assume they'll be borne by the local community. That's not the case here," Hochul said.
She said the state is also working very hard to try to quickly get people legal work status. Hochul believes communities will be more welcoming if migrants can work on their farms, in restaurants and hotels for instance.
In the meantime, her office continues to look at all housing options including state university campuses. The governor said she plans to announce some possibilities soon.
"We're just doing an overall survey of all state assets. No decisions have been made but I wanted to find out what's available at everything from DOT facilities to our DEC offices to literally every place we have space," she said.
Meanwhile, Hochul said she's deeply troubled by the apparent fabrication of a story about an Orange County hotel where veterans were supposedly displaced for incoming migrants.
"These individuals were sent there with a legal contract between the city of New York and a hotel owner. They are allowed to contract that way and if people want to fabricate stories to undermine the whole process, I think it's reprehensible," she said.