NYC challenges migrant housing bans

Astate Supreme Court judge on Wednesday (July 26) dismissed Putnam County from a lawsuit filed by New York City against counties that have banned it from renting hotel rooms to house migrants who are seeking asylum in the U.S.

New York City’s plan in May to bus migrants to hotels north of the city triggered emergency declarations by county executives in dozens of counties. New York City officials, in turn, accused county officials of xenophobia and filed a lawsuit.

The judge dismissed the lawsuit against Putnam because County Executive Kevin Byrne had not extended his executive order. Instead, the county Legislature on July 5 made it illegal for New York City to provide “temporary housing within Putnam, thereby creating a homeless shelter, without first entering into a shared services agreement” with the county.

Byrne called the decision “welcome news,” and said “because of the swift resolution of this case, the cost to taxpayers has been minimal.”

The judge also ruled that the lawsuit could be moved from state court to Rockland and Orange county courts.

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