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Allegany County Declares State of Emergency in Response to Migrant Crisis


County Chairman and County Sheriff make statements, read the declaration

From the Allegany County Legislature:

Allegany County Sheriff Scott Cicirello:

The current headlines across New York State have created a lot of uncertainty in Allegany County, prompting speculation as to the potential impact on our communities. New York City has expressed that they will be sending a large volume of migrants to upstate NY, possibly affecting Allegany County.

Regardless of the politics of this situation, my job is to ensure the public safety of the residents of Allegany County.

I am working closely with the Allegany County Legislature, County Administrator and Local and State Law Enforcement to monitor the situation.

I fully support the actions taken by Chairman Harris, the Board of Legislators and County Administrator Knapp to directly address this crisis.

We recognize there are strong opinions on this issue.  We urge residents to remain peaceful and respectful.  If you wish to voice your opinion on this issue, please reach out to your federal representative. If you have a specific public safety concern, contact your local law enforcement. We will continue to advocate for resolution to this crisis and keep our residents informed.

Allegany County Legislative Board Chairman W. Brooke Harris:

I’m sympathetic to the challenges facing asylum seekers, and wish for nothing more than their successful integration into our country. Unfortunately, Allegany County simply does not have the resources available to properly provide for the needs of even a small influx of migrants. In addition to our overburdened and underfunded County departments, our contracted agencies and local not-for-profit providers are already stretched beyond their capabilities. Any sudden additional demands could compromise a very fragile service delivery system.

At this time, we are not aware of any attempt by either New York City or New York State to facilitate the relocation of migrants to Allegany County. This Declaration aims to protect the public safety of all residents of Allegany County, and to ensure that migrants and asylum seekers are not placed in a situation that would be detrimental to their health and well-being.


A State of Emergency is hereby declared in the County of Allegany, effective 1:00 p.m. on May 19, 2023.

This local State of Emergency has been declared due to New York City’s actions to rapidly divert the number of migrants to other Counties in New York State to unsustainable levels. The County of Allegany does not have the capacity to receive or sustain any number of migrants and/or asylum seekers.

As the Chief Executive of the County of Allegany, I, W. Brooke Harris, Chairman of the Board, exercise the authority given me under New York State Executive Law Section 24, to preserve the public health and public safety, and hereby render all required and available assistance vital to the security, well-being, and health and safety of the citizens of the County of Allegany.

Local emergency orders may be enacted subsequent to this declaration. This State of Emergency will remain in effect for thirty days or until rescinded or renewed by a subsequent order.

This Declaration shall be executed in quadruplicate and filed within seventy-two hours or as soon thereafter as practicable in the Office of the Clerk of the Allegany County Board of Legislators, the Office of the Allegany County Clerk, the New York Secretary of State, and the_New York State Office of Emergency Management within the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

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