ALBANY — A second group of about 40 asylum-seekers was expected to arrive in the city late Monday night, Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, which would bring to 105 the number of migrants New York City has sent north to Albany County over the holiday weekend.

Albany received its first group of 40 migrants late Sunday, settling them into an Albany hotel, while Colonie has been granted a temporary court order to prevent more migrants from being sent to the town after a group of 25 arrived at a hotel there Saturday.

The 40 asylum-seekers who arrived late Sunday night in Albany were the second group to be bused to Albany County after New York City began transporting migrants to other locations to alleviate the recent crush of people who have been transported there from U.S. southern border states. 

The migrants in Albany are being housed at the 215-room Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Albany at 3 Watervliet Ave. Ext. The group in Colonie is staying at the SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western on Wolf Road.

“The city of Albany — a proud sanctuary city — welcomed its first bus of approximately 40 asylum-seekers in search of freedom and a safe place to live last evening,” Mayor Kathy Sheehan said in a statement Monday afternoon.

“While we suggested several other hotels within the city of Albany, New York City has decided to contract with the Ramada Inn on Watervliet Avenue in Albany. The city of Albany’s committed community partners will work to ensure New York City provides these asylum-seekers with food, shelter, everyday necessities and the services they may need,” Sheehan continued.

A woman wearing an identity badge with NYC in large letters and two women providing assistance to the migrants were at the Ramada. The woman with the ID badge said that she was not allowed to speak to the media and a security guard asked a Times Union reporter to leave the hotel.

“As we’ve been saying for months, we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, having opened more than 150 emergency sites, including nine large-scale humanitarian relief centers, to serve over 70,000 asylum-seekers that have arrived in our city (since about a year ago). Every day, we receive hundreds of additional asylum-seekers and we are out of space,” Fabien Levy, a spokesman for New York Mayor Eric Adams, wrote in an email.

“New York City has done and will continue to do its part, but we need counties, cities,and towns across the state to do their part as well, especially when New York City is willing to pay for shelter, food and more. In most areas, we’re not even asking localities to help manage 1/4 of 1 percent of the asylum-seekers that have arrived in New York City, and again with New York covering the costs.”

The Ramada hotel has some of the lowest rooms rates in the Capital Region, according to online hotel booking services.  The lowest nightly rate was listed as $60 Monday afternoon. The 153-room SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western had a lowest nightly room rate of $74 listed Monday.

While the migrants on Wolf Road in Colonie had to take shuttles to a grocery store and other locations, those at the Ramada were less than a half-mile from the ShopRite grocery store on Central Avenue in Albany. Several of them walked back to the hotel after shopping. They identified themselves as being from Venezuela.

In Colonie, Supervisor Peter G. Crummey sent police to more than 70 hotels and motels over the weekend to distribute copies of the town’s eight-year-old hotel ordinance regulating stays at the facilities. On Sunday, the town filed a petition in state Supreme Court seeking an injunction to halt New York City from sending more asylum-seekers to the town’s hotels and motels.

A temporary stay was granted by state Supreme Court Justice Gerald W. Connolly, who also serves as the administrative judge for the Third Judicial District, according to Crummey. Connolly will hold a hearing June 9 on the town’s lawsuit against Albany, New York City, the SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western and the New York State Office of Temporary Disability and Assistance.

“I sued to get peace,” Crummey said Monday afternoon. He said the court ruling prevents other buses transporting migrants from arriving in Colonie.

“Mayor Adams has shown no concern for these fellows on the buses,” Crummey said.

Crummey issued a statement Saturday condemning the lack of coordination in the handling of the asylum-seekers being sent to Albany County and questioned why they weren’t sent to the city of Albany.

Crummey and Sheehan have both expressed concerns about the hotels New York City has selected to house the migrants, who apparently entered the U.S. in Texas and then were bussed north to New York City.  Sheehan has said the city recommended other hotels, while Crummey previously pointed out the hotel in his town where the migrants are staying had more than 200 police calls to it in the last 18 months.

Sheehan said that she continues to support Gov. Kathy Hochul’s “push for a 30-day employment authorization instead of the current 180 days for those who have filed for asylum. When I speak with business leaders throughout the city, county, and Capital Region, it is clear there are job opportunities for asylum-seekers in various industries, including hospitality, health care, and food service — we just need to make it easier for asylum-seekers to fill these long-vacant jobs.”

Angela Castrillo-Vilches of the New York Immigration Coalition said the organization is working to get the migrants “connected to lawyers and service providers” to assist them in Albany with asylum and other needed services.


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