At a news conference Wednesday, New York City Deputy Mayor...

At a news conference Wednesday, New York City Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom acknowledged the challenges of finding jurisdictions across the state willing to house newly arrived migrants. Credit: Ed Quinn

The Adams administration continues to face difficulty persuading other New York State jurisdictions to house even a fraction of the migrants arriving in the city daily by the hundreds, said the mayor’s deputy overseeing the crisis.

“I think it’s difficult. I think people are anxious about this, and I think we want to show people that these are wonderful people who came here to work and who want to be settled,”  Anne Williams-Isom, deputy mayor for health and human services, said Wednesday. “And I think that we will continue to make progress as people understand that more.”

She added: “We’re going to continue to work with our out-of-city partners to see how many people we can place there, working with the state on a … strategy for families with children that we’re hoping that’s going to happen over the summer.”

Earlier in May, Williams-Isom suggested that although the city hasn’t yet placed migrants in Nassau and Suffolk, those jurisdictions should expect placements at some point in the future.

Each of Long Island’s county executives, Bruce Blakeman of Nassau and Steve Bellone of Suffolk, has said that the city hasn’t asked to house migrants in either county.

On Wednesday, Blakeman’s spokesman, Chris Boyle, did not respond directly when asked whether the county would accept migrants, nor would he say what the county would do if the city tries to send them. 

“County Executive Blakeman has made it clear that Nassau County is not a sanctuary county,” Boyle wrote in a text message.

More than 72,000 migrants have arrived in New York City since last spring, Williams-Isom said at a briefing Wednesday at City Hall about the crisis. Of that population, Williams-Isom said, “very few people have applied for asylum."

Barring extenuating circumstances, an asylum claim must generally be filed within one year of entering the U.S.

Asked why more haven’t filed the paperwork, Molly Wasow Park, commissioner of social services, said: “It's a fairly complex legal form with some fairly serious consequences if you fill it out wrong, so I think there is a lot of anxiety and concern there.”

Most of the migrants have been bused thousands of miles under programs by governors of states along the U.S.-Mexico border in protest of the Biden administration’s immigration policies.

Hundreds of the migrants have made their way to Long Island on their own from the city, immigration advocates have said.

An order signed last week by Bellone sought to block Suffolk hotels, motels and shelters from contracting with the city to accept migrants, unless the county grants permission. The order said the state should be the one to coordinate any placements of migrants. 

Bellone spokeswoman Marykate Guilfoyle had no further comment Wednesday evening.

Suffolk’s legislature plans to hold a vote Thursday to hire an outside lawyer to advise on how to prevent migrants from being placed there.

For decades, New York City has been under a rare-in-the-nation mandate to provide shelter to anyone who needs it. But Mayor Eric Adams has said the city is running out of room and has tried without much success when turning to counties elsewhere in the state for space.

Judges in several counties, such as Rockland and Orange, have issued temporary court orders prohibiting migrants from being housed there, after the city tried to place migrants.

In a court filing last week seeking permission to loosen the city’s right-to-shelter mandate, the Adams administration cited other counties' resistance.

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