Chemung County Exec. signs Executive Order on possible incoming migrants
UPDATE: 5/18/23 4:45 P.M. -- Chemung County has extended the Order of Emergency until May 20th. According to the Chemung County Attorney, while Chemung County Executive Chris Moss can extend the Order of Emergency as many times as he sees fit, he is restricted by state law to do it in five day increments.
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss signed an Executive Order on Wednesday, May 10th declaring Chemung County is ill-equipped to handle any influx of asylum seekers or migrants. In the Executive Order Moss said it was issued in response to the pending expiration of Title 42 and influx of migrants and asylum seekers to New York City and includes penalties for people or entities who violate the order.
"We know there’s a huge influx into New York City of migrants. They’re busting at the seams, there’s no room left in the homeless shelters, so New York City’s mayor has the idea to send migrants out to the rural areas," said Moss.
In the Executive Order, Moss wrote he has reason to believe migrants and asylum seekers could be transported to Chemung County, and if they were transported here, there's no reason to believe the migrants would leave Chemung County.
"We don’t want to be seen as an unwelcoming community, but the fact of the matter is we wouldn’t have the medical care. We don’t have the housing, so where are these folks going to go?," said Moss.
The Executive Order says that municipalities are not allowed to make contracts with anyone doing business within Chemung transporting migrants to the County or house them. It also says no hotel, motel or multiple dwelling location in Chemung can contract or engage in business with any other municipality other than Chemung County for the purpose of providing housing for migrants.
If anyone is found violating the Executive Order it allows for appearance tickets to be issued, civil penalties, and the potential for being found guilty of a Class B Misdemeanor. Under civil penalties, the Executive Order says that any person who violates any provision of order is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $2,000 per migrant or asylum seeker, per day, housed by a foreign municipality.
The Executive Order will remain in effect for the next five days. Moss said he will extend it until the federal or state government addresses the issue.
"I don’t think it’s Governor Abbott’s fault. Obviously, NYC had their arms open and said you know we can take them. I think when you do that, if you don’t have the resources sooner or later, I mean look what’s happened. They have no place to put people anymore," said Moss.
Moss added, "According to the (New York) governor, she signed the emergency order yesterday, indicating that they anticipate anywhere from three to five-thousand people in the next couple of weeks because of the expiration of Title 42. So, I think we need to be preemptive. Not only do we need to work in case it comes here, but we need to say, you know what? We are not set up for them."
A full copy of the Executive Order can be found below;