Republicans in the state legislature are insisting that Gov. Kathy Hochul order an emergency session of the Albany legislature Tuesday to address the refugee crisis as they stand outside an asylum-seeker shelter in Queens.
“This is a crisis created and exacerbated by the Democrats, and they have allowed it to get out of control,” railed Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R-Fulton).
“Transparency, leadership, communication and preparation were lacking from the start. How much more chaos will we allow? This crisis is out of control. It is time for New York lawmakers to take action.”
Barclay said President Biden’s administration has “turned its back on New York.” It’s time Hochul called a special session of the Legislature to introduce stricter guidelines “before a dire situation gets worse.”
The GOP Assembly Chair was joined by Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island), Queens Councilwoman Vickie Paladino and David Hirsch, a Republican nominee for the 27th Assembly, during a press conference outside the former St. Agnes Academic High School. district, accompanied. which has been converted into a shelter for migrants.
“From Staten Island to Whitestone, communities across New York City are standing up to say enough is enough when it comes to this runaway migrant crisis,” Reilly said.
Aside from Albany taking action, Reilly said Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams would have to start a fire under Biden to seal off the southern border — the source of the tens of thousands of migrants flooding the Big Apple.
Paladino went one step further.
“I say close the border completely! We need a moratorium. That’s the only way Republicans and Democrats can find a solution,” Paladino told The Post after the press conference.
She said the steps Hochul and Adams are pushing for — such as speeding up work permits for migrants — would only create an incentive for more of them to come.
“You cannot continue to throw money into the refugee crisis. It won’t solve the problem. They’re talking billions and billions of dollars,” Paladino added.
“New York is the best place to get there. You get free accommodation and a roof over your head. You get health insurance. Their children go to great schools.”
Republican strategists believe the migrant crisis can give their candidates electoral gains in New York and say the Democrats, who run the White House, Albany and City Hall, have tainted the issue — as has the controversial non-cash bail law.
In total, more than 107,000 migrants have been processed by the city since the spring of 2022 — more than 59,000 migrants are currently in New York’s care, which relies on taxpayers’ money.
Hizzoner and his top budget officials have estimated that the cost of the refugee crisis could be a staggering $12 billion over three years.
Hochul’s office last week rejected calls for a special session of the Legislature, blaming Republicans for the refugee crisis.
“Republicans should focus on pressuring their GOP counterparts in Washington to pass meaningful immigration legislation that regulates work permits and will help end this crisis,” said Hochul spokesman Avi Small.