State Needs To Share New York City’s Migrant Wealth With The Rest Of The State

It’s hard to say upstate New York is entirely shortchanged in the state budget when one looks at the massive amounts of state education aid that pour into our county’s schools year after year.

But Assemblyman Andrew Goodell is right when he says there are some areas where our area is certainly shortchanged by state government. The state’s handling of migrants is one of those areas.

“We’re about to vote on this budget,” Goodell said. “And we have $1 billion in this budget for migrant services in New York City. That’s a little over $18,000 per immigrant who’s in New York City. How much do we have for upstate? Zero. My county, by the way, we have several families that are seeking asylum that came in from Colombia. My community is struggling so that we can treat them with compassion and fairness, and we get zero support from the state of New York while New York City over $18,000 per person. Zero upstate.”

New York City will see $1 billion this year to help deal with its influx of migrants even while Mayor Eric Adams is trying to send more and more of those migrants out of the city into the suburbs surrounding New York City. But those surrounding counties aren’t going to get much financial assistance to help those migrants once they leave New York City.

Areas like Jamestown, meanwhile, are dealing with a trickle of migrants and getting no help from the state. Here, it’s up to the goodwill of our churches and a small band of concerned city residents to help the migrants settle while they file the paperwork to legally be able to work.

As we said earlier this year, the settlement of migrants in Jamestown isn’t a crisis — yet. The problem is Jamestown is an armadillo in the immigration jungle hoping not to get stampeded as the elephants and rhinoceros who make state and federal immigration policy spar in the plains. What happens to Jamestown if –with no additional state aid — Adams decides to bus migrants further west? What happens if Hochul decides to use State University at New York dorms statewide to house migrants, again with no additional state aid to the affected localities?

Hochul’s emergency declaration promises money, but she certainly didn’t show upstate the migrant money in the budget. We hope they start caring soon before migrants do become a crisis here.


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