News of Otsego County

Title 42

Falk: No to Exclusion as an ‘Emergency’ Measure
Letter from Cindy Falk

No to Exclusion as an ‘Emergency’ Measure

This year, I had students in my historic preservation class at the Cooperstown Graduate Program do research on businesses in New York in the 1930s to the 1960s that were welcoming to Black travelers as documented in the “Negro Motorist Green Book.” One student, Megan Good, uncovered the story of the Trade Winds Motor Court in Yonkers and its involvement in the United States v. City of Yonkers segregation case.

In 1984, former city council member Michael F. Cipriani admitted to attempting to limit the number of minority patrons to the Trade Winds Motor Court to no more than 15 percent, citing rampant crime. While this was one small part of the overall case, the court found that the City of Yonkers, the Yonkers Board of Education, and the Yonkers Community Development agency had intentionally segregated public schools and housing. That was not only ethically wrong, but it was also illegal.

Bliss: County Must Regulate, Oversee Any Housing of Migrants
Otsego Issues Executive Order

Bliss: County Must Regulate, Oversee Any Housing of Migrants


On May 16, Otsego County joined the growing list of municipalities that have instituted limitations and conditions on the housing of migrants and asylum seekers entering the United States at its southern border. By adopting the declaration of an emergency set out in New York State’s Executive Order #28, and by issuing its own State of Emergency Declaration, Otsego County officials were empowered to issue Emergency Order #1, regulating the terms under which municipalities within the county could agree to house migrants.

Since Texas, Arizona and Florida began alleviating their own overcrowding by busing migrants to other states, metropolitan areas including New York City have been faced with the realization that housing the influx of migrants is overtaxing their capabilities to render social services. Governor Kathy Hochul, in her Executive Order, noted that New York City was housing more than 36,000 migrants as of May 9, and that this number was increasing with no end in sight. Similarly, Mayor Eric Adams noted New York City is having trouble finding sufficient shelter within the city limits, resulting in having to look for housing in surrounding counties.

Otsego County Declares State of Emergency

Otsego County Declares
State of Emergency

Housing Crisis Executive Order Also Issued

OTSEGO COUNTY—Otsego County Board of Representatives Chairman David Bliss has declared a State of Emergency in Otsego County effective May 16, as asylum seekers are expected to arrive in New York now that the federal Title 42 immigration policy has expired.

Title 42, issued during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowed authorities to turn away migrants at the U.S. borders as a public health measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and to deter illegal border crossings. As a result, the processing of asylum applications was nearly halted as well. Now, after more than three years, the public health emergency has lapsed and the emergency immigration restriction has ended.

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