According to Hochul, NYC can do more for asylum seekers

ALBANY, NY (WIVB) – The influx of asylum-seeking migrants into New York has strained state resources. In a new letter, New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s attorney is particularly critical of New York City’s handling of the situation.

On Tuesday, Faith Gay, a partner at the law firm representing Hochul, emailed the letter to Sylvia Hinds-Radix, 81st corporate attorney in New York City.

Hochul’s attorney points to how much the state has contributed to NYC, essentially saying that under the leadership of Mayor Eric Adams, NYC can do better.

Excerpts from the letter follow:

  • “The governor has declared a state of state disaster and issued an executive order to address the city’s need for legal and regulatory flexibility.”
  • “The state has channeled significant state funds to the city.”
  • “The state has made numerous state-owned properties available to the city to house migrants.”
  • “The state has (so far) deployed 1,840 National Guard members to man the shelters (and expects to deploy at least 100 additional members this week).”
  • “The state has provided additional staff and technical assistance to the city.”
  • “The state has been coordinating with counties and local authorities to facilitate short-term housing for migrants outside of the city.”
  • “And the state has been lobbying for the federal government to help the city deal with the significant influx of migrants.”

In the letter, Hochul’s attorney says the city is expected to take full advantage of the space and resources offered by the state. An example of this not happening is, according to the letter, allowing “hundreds of migrants to sleep on the street outside the Roosevelt Hotel even though there are hundreds of vacant beds in the city’s shelter system.”

“The city failed to make timely requests for regulatory changes, always promptly shared necessary information with the state, failed to implement programs in a timely manner, and failed to consult with the state before taking specific actions,” an excerpt from the letter reads. “While Governor Hochul and Acting Commissioner Guinn appreciate Mayor Adams’ public recognition of the important role the state plays in crisis response, the city can and should do more to act proactively and cooperatively with the state.”

Still, the state plans to continue providing significant assistance to NYC, the letter said, calling the scale of the assistance “unprecedented.”

“The state is actively working toward the day when the new immigrant population can contribute to the state’s economy and achieve self-sufficiency through asylum status and work
approval,” the letter reads.

You can read the entire letter below:

Fabien Levy, New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Communications, responded to the letter as follows:

“As we review the state’s letter, we are heartened to see that our partners in Albany are looking to delve deeper into this crisis and take a more proactive role in its response. The city has already spent more than $1.7 billion and expects to spend $5 billion this fiscal year if we don’t get the right support. We thank the State for offering space in the car park of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Facility which opened yesterday and for the promised funding. But because this is such a serious crisis, we need more, including more space across the state and a statewide order prohibiting municipalities from making ordinances that prevent asylum seekers from being relocated to other parts of New York state . New York City makes up five-hundredths of a percent of the state’s land area, yet as of last spring we’ve managed to provide housing and services to more than 100,000 asylum seekers — more people than live in all of Albany — and opened our over 200 emergency sites to provide shelter. Thousands of city employees and hundreds of volunteers and community-based organizations have worked wonders to provide food, shelter and care for the largest concentrated influx of asylum seekers this city has ever seen, but while our compassion is boundless, our resources are not. This is a state and national crisis and we need more partnership of this kind from our state and national partners.”

Deputy Mayor for Communications Fabien Levy

Western New York is directly affected by asylum seekers being brought to NYC, as dozens have come from there and are currently being housed in Cheektowaga. The first arrivals came last June.

In Erie County, this is a controversial topic. Many Republican politicians have criticized the decision to allow asylum seekers to stay here, particularly after two recent arrests related to alleged sexual assaults.

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. More of his work can be found here and Follow him on Twitter.

Tom Vazquez

Tom Vazquez is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Tom Vazquez joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Tom Vazquez by emailing

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