Suffolk County legislature says it will act to block asylum seekers sent from NYC
Anti and pro-migrant demonstrators packed a raucous news conference Sunday morning to hear the Suffolk Legislature’s plan to block a possible influx of asylum seekers from coming into the county.
Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey, a Republican, said the Legislature would introduce a motion to “authorize the hiring of a special counsel to pursue all legal options available to protect the unfunded location of any asylum seekers in Suffolk County.”
The Sunday morning announcement comes as New York City is attempting to find housing for thousands of migrants seeking asylum after crossing the U.S. border from Mexico.
McCaffrey said New York City Mayor Eric Adams has not asked Suffolk to take in migrants yet, but he said hiring outside counsel will help prepare the county to take action if it happens.
“We want to be able to go into court… take whatever action that we feel is necessary to protect the residents of Suffolk County,” he said. “We don't know who's coming over. This is going to be a burden not just on the local residents but it's going to be on our schools, it's going to be on our emergency services, our police.”
Rep. Nick LaLota (R – 1st District) agreed with and commended the proposed action the Legislature may take. He spoke at the news conference, saying “We honor immigration. We honor legal immigration.”
Protesters interrupted McCaffrey and LaLota, saying that the county should welcome the asylum seekers. They were also critical of the decision to hold the news conference on a Sunday morning.
LaLota responded to one protester who interrupted the news conference multiple times, “Are you finished?”
People who spoke to News 12 Long Island had differing views on how to handle asylum seekers.
“Instead of just shutting our doors, we need to sit together, come together and find ways to help these children and families with whatever resources we do have,” said Dr. Eve Meltzer-Krief, of Huntington.
Ellen DeDomenico told News 12 Long Island that her “taxes shouldn't have to pay for the illegals.”
“Anybody who wants the illegals, let them go to their house and let them pay double in taxes,” she said.
The Suffolk Legislature plans to draft a resolution to hire outside counsel at its general meeting on Tuesday. The meeting is open to the public.