Two New York state lawmakers on Thursday announced new legislation that aims to prevent one municipality such as New York City from transferring migrants to upstate communities without notification and getting their permission to ensure these municipalities are willing and able to host them.
Drafted by Republican state Sen. Jim Tedisco and Democratic Assemblymember Marianne Buttenschon, the “Migrant Home Rule Transfer Transparency Act” would give a 30-day requirement for a municipality like New York City to alert another of their intention to transfer migrants. If the receiving municipality does not pass a resolution to accept them, they would have to go elsewhere.
A $1,000 per-day penalty would be imposed for each transferred individual without getting a "home rule acceptance" from the intended host community.
Many officials on the local level have criticized communication between New York City and upstate since the migrant influx issue began in May.
“We support immigration and a path to citizenship and have tremendous compassion for those who seek to live in freedom and liberty in our great country. Sadly, we currently have paralysis on the part of the federal government who have failed to secure the border and enact common-sense immigration policy," Tedisco said in a statement. "It’s been made worse by a lack of regard from the chief executive of the City of New York who just shuffles people off to other communities in our state without first consulting them. This is a bipartisan issue impacting municipalities in our districts and across the state. That’s why I’m proud to join Assemblymember Buttenschon and work across party lines to sponsor the ‘Migrant Home Rule Transfer Transparency Act’ to call for greater transparency, communication, and common sense on this situation because what’s happening right now in our state does not solve the problem, it exacerbates it."
This is the latest in a series of proposed pieces of legislation put forward in response to the migrant influx. Assembly and Senate Republicans have called for an extraordinary session of the Legislature to address the migrant issue, though it doesn’t appear that the Democratic majorities in either house are ready to return to Albany to address these issues.
“One thing we learned from the pandemic is planning is everything. This legislation provides our local municipalities with a notification of a request to host individuals with migrant status and the municipality makes the choice if they have the resources to provide the necessary services that would be needed. I appreciate this partnership with Senator Tedisco in ensuring our local communities are prepared and making informed decisions,” Assemblymember Buttenschon said.