GovernmentThe White Plains Examiner

Latimer: No Crimes or Additional Expenses From Westchester’s Migrants

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County Executive George Latimer said Monday
that the migrants housed in Westchester have
caused no crime and have not been a drain

Westchester County Executive George Latimer emphatically asserted that there has been no crime or unbudgeted expenses stemming from the roughly 400 migrants that were taken in by the county from New York City this spring.

During his weekly briefing Monday afternoon, Latimer, in apparent reaction to criticism he has received, said there has been no criminal activity associated with the migrants housed at the Ramada Inn in Yonkers, the Central Avenue Courtyard in White Plains and the Ardsley Motel in Ardsley.

Expenses connected to the migrants’ food and lodging are being paid for by New York City, he said. There have been no public safety or county Department of Health expenses incurred that hasn’t been covered by the county’s annual operating budget.

County police are backing up the Yonkers, White Plains and Ardsley police departments, which are the primary responders in the three communities where the migrants are staying.

Furthermore, there have been no communicable diseases spread by the arrival of the migrants, Latimer said.

“We are now taking this humanitarian crisis that exists at the border and we are trying to manage that portion of it that is in front of us now,” Latimer said.

Other counties, such as Rockland and Dutchess, that passed executive orders barring the placement of migrants within their borders have had a ruling against them by a federal judge, the county executive said.

Of the 400 arrivals that were taken in, about 275 are adults while the remainder are children, Latimer said. Westchester has requested that New York City not send any migrants with school-age children because then it could negatively impact the local school districts, he said. The county continues to monitor whether the city is complying.

Latimer decried a sentiment within the county’s population that are upset with the migrants’ presence, some calling them illegal while they await their asylum requests. He never mentioned who his critics may be but grew increasingly impassioned during the 15 minutes that he discussed the issue.

“You are wrong to call them illegal,” Latimer said. “A person who is illegal doesn’t go to the immigration office. They sneak into this country and then they disappear into the subsystem.”

In 2018, Westchester took in about 1,000 unaccompanied children that had been sent to New York by the Trump administration, and successfully managed the situation for close to a year, he said. The children, separated from their parents at the southern border, were housed in Yonkers, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley and Somers at the time.

Latimer remarked how some in the county who are the most outspoken against taking in the migrants this year, didn’t seem to object five years ago.

“I heard not one complaint from the people who are complaining today,” Latimer said. “I think I know why.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and to a lesser extent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have sent most of the migrants that have entered their states primarily to New York, Massachusetts and California.

Latimer said that he has invited the federal government to set up an immigration court in White Plains to expedite the asylum requests of the migrants in the region. So far, that suggestion has been rebuffed.




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