Chautauqua County Executive Paul "PJ" M. Wendel Jr. has declared a State of Emergency in response to the City of New York’s intentions to send migrants and asylum seekers to other counties.
“In December 2016, New York City declared itself a Sanctuary City dedicated to supporting undocumented individuals,” said Wendel. “Over the past several months, thousands of asylum seekers have been arriving in the City, which is now so overwhelmed that it is trying to move these individuals to other counties that do not have the infrastructure to care for them, especially since social services funding is not available to undocumented individuals. While we support the families who have already migrated to our County, we lack the services and funding required to assist additional individuals.”
Due to the economic, health care, safety and security burdens this migration would have on Chautauqua County, Wendel is enacting a local State of Emergency effective May 18, 2023. The State of Emergency will remain in effect for 30 days at which time it may be extended.
This State of Emergency prohibits other municipalities from bringing and housing people in the County, prohibits hotels and motels from housing immigrants without a license, and requires any municipalities that might bring migrating or asylum-seeking people into Chautauqua County to ensure they will be fully cared for and paid for.