A New York City organization is suing a number of counties in the Hudson Valley.

On Thursday, the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against Rockland and Orange Counties for trying to stop the arrival of migrants.

NYCLU Sues Orange, Rockland Counties Over Migrants

Rene Mejia, Newburgh Community Organizer.
Rene Mejia, Newburgh Community Organizer.

“Orange and Rockland County’s Emergency Orders egregiously violate migrants’ rights,”  Director of Immigrants’ Rights Litigation at the New York Civil Liberties Union  Amy Belsher said. “Migrants have every right to travel and reside anywhere in New York, free of xenophobic harassment and discrimination. People are not political pawns – both counties should welcome migrants into their communities, not unlawfully bar them from seeking refuge.”

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Earlier this week, Orange and Rockland counties each declared a State of Emergency over New York City's migrant relocation plan.

"The two counties had issued executive orders barring hotels from making rooms available to migrants, in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Constitution," the NYCLU states. "The four plaintiffs are migrants who sheltered in New York City and opted into a city-run program to relocate."

New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently announced plans to send over 300 migrants to two hotels in the Hudson Valley because of overcrowding in New York City.

Eric Adams
Michael M. Santiago /Getty Images

"In issuing its executive orders, both Rockland and Orange counties invoked a non-existent emergency, raising the specter of 'thousands' of immigrants entering the counties and burdening social services. However, there are no large-scale plans for migrants to move to these counties nor any immediate need for the counties to absorb the costs of caring for those who choose to do so," NYCLU adds.

Adams said New York City is running out of room for asylum seekers.

On Thursday, busses full of migrants arrived in Orange County, just hours after Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus announced he was told by Gov. Hochul that migrants would not be sent to a Newburgh hotel.

Rene Mejia, Newburgh Community Organizer.
Rene Mejia, Newburgh Community Organizer.


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"Some people are trying to ask if the law enforcement going to rip these people off the bus or rip them out of their rooms. We're not going to let Orange County or New York to turn into a George Wallace (situations) from the south in the 1960s. We're talking about human beings here," Neuhaus said.

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