Heastie: No plans for NY Assembly to hold special session on migrant crisis

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 4:14 PM EDT
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MALONE, N.Y. (WCAX) - Calls continue to grow in New York to address the ongoing migrant crisis, but the state’s Assembly speaker says there’s currently no discussion of returning for a special session.

Speaker Carl Heastie made the remarks during his stop in Malone on Monday.

He says state lawmakers are open to different ways to solve the issue but it’s up to the federal government to make changes.

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand have both called for immediate work visas for migrants as one way to help. But Heastie says New York would still need approval from the federal government to issue state permits.

“I know the governor mentioned it trying to talk about having state-authorized permits but you still would need the federal government’s permission. So we are back to square one where it is really, really a call for our federal partners including our House delegation to step up, as well,” said Heastie, D-N.Y. Assembly Speaker.

Republican North Country Sen. Dan Stec is one lawmaker who has called for a special session to address the growing influx of migrants into the state. He also recently backed St. Lawrence County’s decision to oppose executive orders to house migrants within the county.