state of emergency declaration Posted Tuesday night, May 16, the town of Riverhead banned hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts and other “temporary lodging units” from accepting any immigrants or asylum seekers for housing within town limits.

According to an executive order issued by the town supervisor, town officials learned that the New York City Department of Homeless Services was in contact with Riverhead hotels and motels “to assess the availability of such facilities to assess whether they can transport people from New York City to Immigration” Yvette Aguiar.

“There is reason to be concerned about the immediate danger of a public emergency in which hundreds or possibly thousands of people are being transported to the town of Riverhead,” Aguiar continued.

The statement noted that the arriving migrants could overburden the Riverhead Central School District, which is reportedly operating “at or above” maximum capacity.

“The Town of Riverhead is experiencing physical and socioeconomic impacts or natural migration to the Town and the Riverhead Central School District, which currently provide and bear a disproportionate burden of low-income housing compared to surrounding municipalities,” the order states.

“Relative to the surrounding townships on the East Side and throughout Suffolk County, Riverhead is doing more than its share in housing, servicing and providing affordable housing for the homeless, and our resources and taxpayers simply cannot cannot afford further demand on our public services”

Any immigrants admitted to Riverhead’s hotels or other short-term lodging facilities would face “rejection or deportation” due to enforcement of local zoning regulations, Aguiar said, adding that the result would be “massive homelessness.”

The executive order also states that the city must reimburse the Town of Riverhead for any costs it incurs as a result of the program to resettle asylum seekers.

Similar emergencies were declared in the Hudson Valley, Orange and Rockland counties after New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to send hundreds of asylum seekers to the area to temporarily stay in motels , as did Tuesday’s action.

Adams said the program would “provide asylum-seeking single adult men with temporary shelter for up to four months in nearby New York County outside of New York City.”

The plan stems from an expected surge in immigrants entering the city after the expiration of so-called Title 42, a federal policy that allows authorities to quickly turn away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Despite fears of a potential wave of migrants at the southern border, however, CNN reports Since the policy expired on Thursday, May 11, the actual influx of immigrants has been “significantly smaller than anticipated.”

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