The Chautauqua County Legislature has voiced their support for the State of Emergency declared by the County Executive that bars housing new immigrants in Chautauqua County.
Legislator Terry Niebel brought the motion to the floor, saying that more immigrants are being relocated to upstate from New York City, “The problem with this is, if some of these folks are relocated to Chautauqua County we’re just not adequately equipped to take care of 500 or, perhaps, a thousand new immigrants. In my opinion, the Legislature needs to support the County Executive’s State of Emergency.”
Legislator Susan Parker said she agrees that the process needs to be slowed down but doesn’t want to prohibit immigrants who come to the county on their own, “We have to have the infrastructure and all of the services and we can’t bankrupt the county in the process. But, my belief is that the ultimate goal could be to allow with the infrastructure… these people are coming, they’re eager to work, they want to work, they’re in search of work, and we need workers.”
Under a federal law passed in 1996, asylum seekers are required to wait at least half a year after filing an asylum petition before being able to obtain authorization to work. Governor Kathy Hochul, this week, called on the White House to expedite work authorization for the thousands of asylum seekers in New York City.
The Legislature passed a motion by a vote of 15 to 2 in support of the declaration. Legislators Susan Parker and Tom Nelson were the two no votes.
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