JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Leaders in Western New York are expressing concerns about a plan to send an influx of immigrants upstate, in an attempt to qualify for federal funding and reduce the stress on New York City.
Congressman Joe Sempolinski says our area doesn’t have the resources to support an influx of migrants.
“Obviously, New York City is the richest city on the planet, and if they’re concerned they don’t have the resources and means to deal with the situation it’s sort of strange credulity to say that upstate NY would have the means and resources to deal with the situation. And frankly, it’s a crisis caused by policies that the senator has supported, policies of the Biden administration,” claims Sempolinski.
The plan, first introduced by U.S. Senator Kristin Gillibrand, includes making cities like Niagara Falls and Binghamton take in new immigrants eligible for $9 million dollars in federal funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
“According to the US Customs and Border Patrol, there have been over 3.5 million illegal southern border crossings under this administration,” says Sempolinski.
When we spoke with the Congressman, he had not yet directly contacted Gillibrand about his concerns, but assured constituents of the 23rd district that he would be following up.
While the rep is opposed to housing the immigrants in the upstate communities, other local representatives have expressed their willingness to become a resettlement city.
This April, Sempolinski’s predecessor, Congressman Tom Reed, agreed that Jamestown is the choice location to house Ukrainian refugees, because of the low cost of housing, job availability, easy access to healthcare services and support from local school programs.