ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New York State is dealing with an influx of international asylum-seekers, and Governor Kathy Hochul is considering SUNY campuses as place to temporarily house some of them.
“We’re looking at all locations,” Hochul said at Oak Hill County Club Thursday. “We have a challenge. We have over 71,000 people and more are arriving. This is a situation no one asked for, but we are responsible for dealing with it.”
This comes as New York City struggles to find shelter for a surge of migrants. More than 4,000 filled NYC shelters last week, according to Mayor Eric Adams.
“Right now they’re putting people in school gymnasiums in New York City,” Hochul said. “We can do better than that. This is a temporary situation until they get on their feet and really become part of our workforce.”
Hochul was in the Capitol Wednesday, meeting about the issue with members of Congress. She addressed the topic in a NY1 interview that morning.
“We put out a call to all of our agencies,” Hochul said. “I had a meeting in our Emergency Operations Center with all of our cabinet members and had representatives from SUNY there, and I said, ‘find all available state properties, let’s analyze them, let’s see whether they’re temporary short term, whether it becomes longer term.'”
Hochul said SUNY campuses might be able to provide some housing relief, but only until students need the space.
“Clearly a SUNY campus lends itself to immediate help, but long-term, we have to have it free by August,” she said. “So what happens in August? So these are the questions we’re asking right now. We are looking at every possible property in the State of New York to help have a relief valve for the City of New York. “
“At Governor Hochul’s direction, we are assessing whether there are SUNY resources available to help with the arrival of asylum seekers,” said SUNY Press Secretary Holly Liapis.
Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney issued a statement Wednesday, calling the potential plan a “misguided decision.”
For information about the documentation needed to enter the United States as a refugee or asylum-seeker, click here. For information about the documentation needed to immigrate to the United States, click here.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.