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Long Island leader refuses to let NYC move migrants into former NHL arena

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Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican leader on Long Island, made a firm declaration on Thursday, asserting that migrants from New York City would not find a home in the former NHL arena or any location within Nassau County.

Blakeman expressed that “Nassau County is not a sanctuary for migrants, underlining his position during a press conference.”

He emphasized that “the county has no intentions of hosting migrants who haven’t followed the proper legal procedures for entry, particularly those coming from the southern border.”

Blakeman clarified that the issue at hand is a federal concern, not a local one. He vehemently dismissed any speculation about housing migrants within Nassau County and addressed constituent concerns regarding the matter.

He also noted discussions with local school districts that were in alignment with the stance against hosting migrants due to space constraints and a lack of preparation for additional students.

Furthermore, Blakeman highlighted that social services are already operating at maximum capacity, and there is no desire to strain these resources.

He emphasized the importance of proper vetting for individuals entering the county to avoid the crime-related issues that have arisen in other parts of the United States due to insufficient vetting procedures.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, a Democrat, had suggested the Nassau Coliseum as a potential site for asylum seekers. However, Blakeman’s strong position was supported by various considerations, including the limited space, existing commitments of local services, and concerns about unchecked entry leading to crime problems.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, urged Governor Kathy Hochul to enact an executive order preventing municipalities from refusing asylum seekers. Hochul’s attorneys countered Adams’ request, criticizing his approach to the migrant situation.

Mayor Adams emphasized the difficulties in continuously finding housing for a significant number of migrants in New York City, stressing the need for a comprehensive and organized approach to address the influx.

He cited logistical challenges in accommodating migrants across different locations, such as sporting fields, recreational centers, and hotels, asserting that this is not a sustainable way to manage the city.

In a different scenario, Erie County faced a situation where an asylum seeker allegedly committed a sex crime, leading the county to decline housing more migrants. Unlike Nassau County, Erie County had initially welcomed asylum seekers but later encountered challenges associated with the influx.

Blakeman criticized municipalities that initially welcomed migrants as sanctuary locations but later sought to transfer them elsewhere, likening it to inviting guests to one’s home and then redirecting them to a neighbor’s residence.

In summary, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman firmly stated that Nassau County would not accommodate migrants, emphasizing the federal nature of the issue and underscoring the potential strain on local resources.

This position aligns with concerns over proper vetting and the desire to avoid issues that have arisen in other regions due to unchecked entry.

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