Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks New York Counties’ Orders Banning Hotels From Housing Migrants

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A federal judge blocked executive orders issued in two New York counties that would ban hotels from housing migrants on Tuesday, according to the ruling.

U.S. District Judge Nelson S. Roman, an Obama appointee, found that the executive orders illegally discriminated based on national origin. Rockland County and Orange County passed the orders in May in response to Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ plan to bus migrants to hotels in the counties, and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) sued on behalf of four migrants on May 11 alleging that the orders violate the Fourteenth Amendment and Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“[T]he Defendants claim an interest in preventing the establishment of temporary shelters, which they argue were implemented unlawfully by New York City,” Roman wrote. “[W]hile such concern could be legitimate, it cannot be addressed through discriminatory means.”

Roman called the counties’ fear that “thousands” of migrants would flood the communities “speculative,” adding that “the record shows that New York City’s plan includes relocation of about 300 people to the two counties.” (RELATED: NYC Mayor Says City Might Have To Put Migrants In ‘Private Residences’)

A state Supreme Court judge granted a restraining order against New York City in May, stopping Adams’ plan to send more migrants to Orange County, Spectrum News reported. More than 180 were sent to the county prior to the ruling, according to the outlet.

Randall's Island Migrant Facility

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 18: Beds are seen in the dormitory during a tour of the Randall’s Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on October 18, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a Tuesday statement that his administration is “considering all legal options including an appeal of the decision.”

“While the decision prevents the use of the Local Emergency Order unless the decision is reversed, the court’s order has no impact on the existing Temporary Restraining Orders issued by the State court judges and does not allow the City to operate a shelter in Rockland County,” he said. “These people are heading to New York City because it is a Sanctuary City and instead of living up to that declaration of Sanctuary, Mayor Eric Adams and the City is exporting them to neighboring municipalities across the State of New York including Rockland County.”

New York City is spending around $8 million daily to shelter tens of thousands of migrants, officials said in May. Adams suggested local city residents help house migrants during a Monday news conference.

“The only thing this County’s order was barring was Mayor Eric Adams from overstepping his authority by luring people out of New York City with predatory marketing and advertising and turning hotels in Rockland into city-run shelters with no regard for law, zoning, or our capacity on hand,” Day continued.

Orange County Spokesperson Justin Rodriguez told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the county “disagrees with the ruling” but noted that “nothing really changes as a practical matter.”

“The federal court made very clear that it was not disturbing the temporary restraining order that the County obtained against the City of New York preventing the City from sending its homeless to Orange County hotels,” Rodriguez said. “The County’s temporary restraining order against the City will remain in effect at least until June 21st when the State Supreme Court will issue a ruling on the continuing nature of the restraining order.”

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