Orleans declares state of emergency due to possible influx of migrants/asylum seekers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 May 2023 at 9:33 pm

ALBION – Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson declared a state of emergency at 1:30 p.m. today over a possible arrival of migrants and asylum seekers.

“This situation is a threat to public safety,” Johnson wrote in her state of emergency declaration.

Genesee County officials also declared a state of emergency, concerned that New York City Mayor Eric Adams will send undocumented immigrants to upstate counties.

In her declaration, Johnson said Orleans County has been experiencing a housing crisis “due to an increase of 178 percent placement of homeless persons since July 2022.” That exceeds the county’s limited number of temporary and permanent emergency housing facilities.

“Orleans County does not have the capability to receive or sustain any number of migrants and/or asylum seekers,” Johnson wrote in the declaration.

The state of emergency will remain in effect for 30 days unless it is rescinded. Johnson said additional local emergency orders may be issues for the county during the state of emergency “to protect life and property and to bring the emergency condition under control.”

UPDATE at 9:05 a.m. on May 18: The declaration does not include farmworkers coming to work in Orleans County legally through the federal H2A program.