In response to two alleged sexual assaults in Erie County involving the migrant community, as well as a request from Monroe County for increased security to deal with the influx of migrants, Gov. Kathy Hochul has called up the National Guard. 

Both county executives Mark Polancarz, of Erie, and Adam Bello, of Monroe, are Democrats.  

A third upstate Democrat, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, doesn’t feel calling up the National Guard is the right move.

“It’s not sending the right tone,” McCoy told Capital Tonight.   

While many other counties across upstate have implemented barriers to migrants being bused from New York City, Albany County has welcomed them – to a point. 

Currently, Albany County is home to about 615 migrants from New York City. For a relatively small county of 320,000 people, that’s a heavy lift. But McCoy feels an obligation.

“They have been on a long journey. And let’s face it, they’re human beings, they’re not cattle and they’ve been shipped around this country from one spot to the next, to the next, to the next,” he told Capital Tonight. 

McCoy and Bello issued similar executive orders back in May. The purpose of the orders was not to halt the influx migrants, according to McCoy, but rather to control the flow.

“When we put together our executive order, state of emergency, it wasn’t to say no. It was to say we just want clear cut communications (regarding) the process,” he said.

But McCoy said he didn’t get it. 

He’s been continuously frustrated with all levels of government, as well as with DocGo, the company hired by New York City to transport asylum seekers and work with municipalities to find them housing.

Because of a series of missteps and miscommunications, staffers from the county executive’s office, the office of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and nine non-profits working with migrants, recently had a sit-down meeting with DocGo CEO Anthony Capone.

While McCoy appears hopeful that communication among these groups will improve, he doesn’t seem optimistic.

“He’s been a bad actor since the beginning of this,” said McCoy of Capone. “If we got the information we needed at the beginning – who’s coming here, what languages do they speak, what age are they, where are they in the legal process?”

He continued.

“Honestly, I was getting frustrated from the beginning because DocGo didn’t give us any of this stuff,” he said. 

DocGo did ultimately provide some of the documents and information McCoy has requested. 

The company also provided reaction to McCoy’s comments: 

“DocGo has always collaborated effectively with all stakeholders, and we'll continue to bridge any communication or education gaps," they said in a statement. "We hear the concerns voiced by Mr. McCoy, and will take this feedback into account. Additionally, we continue to welcome a constructive discussion with Mr. McCoy and his team. Our focus remains on solutions for operationalizing a highly complex situation against the backdrop of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”

Because buses of migrants from New York City can show up anytime, throwing a wrench into plans, McCoy had also reached out multiple times to the office of New York City Mayor Eric Adams. 

About a month ago, McCoy, who heads up the National Association of Counties, along with a bipartisan group of county executives from the New York State Association of Counties, traveled to New York City. They spent time at one of the city’s in-take centers and had dinner with Adams.

The outreach wasn’t effective.

“Six days later, we started getting buses,” McCoy said with frustration. 

McCoy is demanding leadership from the federal government.

“We need a plan from the federal government. We need resources. We need to treat it like a national disaster – not saying this is a disaster -- but we need it (the disaster designation) in order to put all the agencies in place,” he said.