Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman speaks to reporters on Thursday in...

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman speaks to reporters on Thursday in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A day after Democratic Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said Nassau Coliseum should be among the options for housing some of the thousands of migrants to New York City, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, said Thursday said there was "no plan whatsoever" to use the Uniondale arena.

The back and forth reflected growing public debate about how to house tens of thousands of migrants who have ended up in New York City after crossing the southern border.

The issue not only has pitted Republicans and Democrats against each other, but also has caused rifts among top Democrats in New York.

In an article published Wednesday in the New York Post, Richards said “NYC is doing more than its fair share. Unused or underutilized assets — certainly the Nassau Coliseum — should be looked at by the state.”

In remarks to reporters in Mineola Thursday, Blakeman repeated his administration's position, saying, "We are not inviting migrants into the county." 

"Let me make it clear — one more time — Nassau County is not a sanctuary county. We have no plans to have any migrant program here in Nassau County," Blakeman said. 

Hank Sheinkopf, a Manhattan-based political strategist who has worked for Democratic and Republican candidates, said Blakeman is "taking a page from the Nassau GOP political playbook" when he publicly states his stance on the migrant issue. 

“This is perfect Nassau GOP fodder so they can use the same playbook they always have in sending a message that they will protect the suburbs from the city,” Sheinkopf said. 

Blakeman spokesman Chris Boyle declined to comment about Sheinkopf's remarks.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, has said, “There’s no more room at the inn” for more migrants and has pleaded for federal and state money to house, feed and otherwise care for the migrants in the five boroughs.

Richards was not available for comment Thursday, according to a spokesman. But in a statement to Newsday he called on the state to "strongly consider using underutilized venues across New York, including on Long Island and Upstate, for temporary migrant housing.”

“In the midst of this asylum-seeker crisis, we must leave no stone unturned in search of suitable sites across New York State to temporarily house those who want to build a better life for themselves and their families here," Richards said.

"That’s why I have repeatedly called on the Biden Administration to make federally owned Floyd Bennett Field available as a shelter site, all while continuing to call on the state to strongly consider using underutilized venues across New York, including on Long Island and Upstate, for temporary migrant housing,” Richards said.

Nassau Coliseum, the former home of the NHL's New York Islanders, sits on a 72-acre county-owned parcel in Uniondale. In May, the county legislature approved a 99-year lease of the property to Las Vegas Sands, based in Nevada, which is seeking to build a $4 billion casino-resort on the site.

A Sands spokesman did not return calls seeking comment on Thursday.

A day after Democratic Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said Nassau Coliseum should be among the options for housing some of the thousands of migrants to New York City, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, said Thursday said there was "no plan whatsoever" to use the Uniondale arena.

The back and forth reflected growing public debate about how to house tens of thousands of migrants who have ended up in New York City after crossing the southern border.

The issue not only has pitted Republicans and Democrats against each other, but also has caused rifts among top Democrats in New York.

In an article published Wednesday in the New York Post, Richards said “NYC is doing more than its fair share. Unused or underutilized assets — certainly the Nassau Coliseum — should be looked at by the state.”

In remarks to reporters in Mineola Thursday, Blakeman repeated his administration's position, saying, "We are not inviting migrants into the county." 

"Let me make it clear — one more time — Nassau County is not a sanctuary county. We have no plans to have any migrant program here in Nassau County," Blakeman said. 

Hank Sheinkopf, a Manhattan-based political strategist who has worked for Democratic and Republican candidates, said Blakeman is "taking a page from the Nassau GOP political playbook" when he publicly states his stance on the migrant issue. 

“This is perfect Nassau GOP fodder so they can use the same playbook they always have in sending a message that they will protect the suburbs from the city,” Sheinkopf said. 

Blakeman spokesman Chris Boyle declined to comment about Sheinkopf's remarks.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, has said, “There’s no more room at the inn” for more migrants and has pleaded for federal and state money to house, feed and otherwise care for the migrants in the five boroughs.

Richards was not available for comment Thursday, according to a spokesman. But in a statement to Newsday he called on the state to "strongly consider using underutilized venues across New York, including on Long Island and Upstate, for temporary migrant housing.”

“In the midst of this asylum-seeker crisis, we must leave no stone unturned in search of suitable sites across New York State to temporarily house those who want to build a better life for themselves and their families here," Richards said.

"That’s why I have repeatedly called on the Biden Administration to make federally owned Floyd Bennett Field available as a shelter site, all while continuing to call on the state to strongly consider using underutilized venues across New York, including on Long Island and Upstate, for temporary migrant housing,” Richards said.

Nassau Coliseum, the former home of the NHL's New York Islanders, sits on a 72-acre county-owned parcel in Uniondale. In May, the county legislature approved a 99-year lease of the property to Las Vegas Sands, based in Nevada, which is seeking to build a $4 billion casino-resort on the site.

A Sands spokesman did not return calls seeking comment on Thursday.

School bus ticket controversy … New immigration policy … Ditch Plains dunes project  Credit: Newsday

ATM burglary arrests ... School bus ticket controversy ... New immigration policy ... Brooklyn pizza tour

School bus ticket controversy … New immigration policy … Ditch Plains dunes project  Credit: Newsday

ATM burglary arrests ... School bus ticket controversy ... New immigration policy ... Brooklyn pizza tour

Latest videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME