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The ongoing migrant crisis is now making its way to Erie County

The City of New York or the state will pay for all costs associated with the asylum seekers coming to Erie County.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The ongoing migrant crisis has reached far beyond the southern border and is now making its way to Erie County.

County Executive Poloncarz announced just hours ago that an unknown number of migrants from New York City will be making their way to Erie County soon. 

He said in a statement that these migrants are: “People who have been forced out of their own countries by authoritarian rulers or for other serious life-threatening reasons.”

Poloncarz added that they have entered the country legally and “have been vetted by federal authorities.”

But the mayor of the biggest city in Erie County, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, said he’s had no communication with the county executive or the City of New York on this issue. 

“It’s got to be clear communication,” Brown said. “We've got to know if the state, if New York City is planning on sending migrants to communities so communities can plan, so communities know what's involved, what's expected, what the cost might be.”

A spokesperson from the New York mayor’s office shared with 2 On Your Side that the state or City of New York will be paying for any costs associated with housing, food or support staff for the migrants, so no addition cost falls on Erie County taxpayers. 

Last week Gov. Kathy Hochul pointed to SUNY colleges as potential temporary homes for these migrants, but their spokesperson said yesterday that they are still assessing if they have the resources to house these migrants. 

Mayor Brown is wondering the same. 

“I have no places set up at this point,” he said. “No one has said that any migrants are going to come here. So we would look for guidance from the federal government from the state government, we'd want that communication.”

The county executive also said in a statement today that despite the sights in New York City, he doesn’t believe Erie County will witness much change, stating that the county has already taken in over 12,000 refugees in the last decade.

But for residents in Erie County, questions of where they’ll stay, how many and when still remain.

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