Putnam County Declares State of Emergency to Deter Migrant Entry

Anne Spollen

On Monday May 22nd, in a move of solidarity with neighboring Dutchess, Rockland, and Orange Counties, Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne executed and filed a State of Emergency and three Executive Orders in response to New York City’s recent moves to relocate asylum seekers to the Hudson Valley.

“The purpose of these executive orders is to give the County the ability to preserve residents’ rights, protect their well-being, and enforce county established laws and codes, in the wake of what has clearly become a disorganized, muddy operation by New York City officials,” said County Executive Byrne.

Byrne's three orders will:

  • Allow Putnam County the flexibility to re-direct county resources to enforce sanitary code.
  • Direct hotels, motels, and those with temporary residency permits not to accept migrants from New York City without a shared services agreement with the county.
  • Define Putnam as a "rule of law" county instead of a "sanctuary county." 

“The President’s refusal to take ownership of this crisis and take corrective actions to secure our nation’s southern border and fix the asylum-seeking process leaves New York City and its surrounding communities in a mess. New York City continues to rely on its poorly planned operations which set the stage to overburden and place significant hardship on communities in the Hudson Valley and further upstate. Several of our neighboring municipalities, governed by both Democrat and Republican officials, have justifiably taken pre-emptive action to protect their communities. We’ve put an incredible amount of thought into this decision and considering numerous internal reports of the City’s lack of transparency and cooperation with local municipalities, we will not wait any longer to act.”

Byrne added that it would be important to define Putnam as a "rule of law" county because many municipalities with a “sanctuary” designation have begun housing asylum seekers. 

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Native Staten Islander, writer following the migrant crisis, urban issues, lifestyle topics, human interest, current events, and stories that resonate. Published novelist and essayist.

Staten Island, NY

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