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Migrants from NYC could be heading to Erie County

Mayor Eric Adams' office told 2 On Your Side Monday that conversations are underway about a plan to send asylum seekers to Western New York.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The continuous influx of migrants arriving on buses in New York City could soon be a sight on the streets of Buffalo and across Erie County.

A spokesperson for New York Mayor Eric Adams told 2 On Your Side that the mayor’s office reached out to County Executive Mark Poloncarz this morning to coordinate a plan and that migrants could start to arrive as soon as details are finalized.  

The mayor’s office shared their gratitude for the county executive in a statement:

“New York City has done and will continue to do its part, but we need counties, cities, and towns across the state to do their part as well."

“We are grateful for the county executive’s support and that of the many elected officials who know that new immigrants have been and will continue to grow local economies and enrich local communities.”

But Mayor Byron Brown said Monday, that message has not been conveyed to him.

“We are not aware of any asylum seekers that are coming to Buffalo at this time,” Brown said.

He added that he has had no communication with New York Mayor Adams’ office and that he doesn't know of any plans for migrants to come to Buffalo.

“We are certainly hopeful that if any asylum seekers were to come to the City of Buffalo, we would be informed by the state or other agencies or the federal government,” Brown said.

Governor Kathy Hochul, just days after her trip to Buffalo, also spoke on the matter today, thanking Poloncarz for offering to take the pressure off New York City.

“The population of Buffalo went up because of refugees going to Buffalo over the last few decades,” she said. “That is a way we can stem population loss, build the economy, and build for the next generation.”

But Poloncarz’s challenger in the upcoming county executive election, Chrissy Casilio, snapped back on his decision after the seven counties surrounding Erie issued states of emergency.

“Either he knows something that we don't know, or he's being complicit and just blindly following whatever Governor Hochul advises,” Casilio said.

Governor Hochul also said in a trip to Buffalo last week that SUNY schools could potentially be used as housing sites for asylum seekers. 2 On Your Side reached out to SUNY today, and they said they are currently assessing whether they have the resources available.

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