Astorino says Hochul won’t use law to ID migrants being flown into NY

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino accused Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday of failing to enforce existing state law against the migrants that the White House is flying into an airport outside New York City under cover of darkness.

Astorino, a former Westchester County executive, said a 1951 statute gives Hochul the power to determine the identities of foreigners who arrive in the Empire State.

“It’s Governor Hochul’s responsibility to know who’s on these flights, yet she’s refusing to use her powers to find out,” Astorino said.

“New Yorkers have a right to know who’s being flown in, and taxpayers should be informed about the scope of this secretive relocation program”

He added: “Government is supposed to be accountable to its citizens — even in New York.”

Last year, The Post exclusively revealed how President Joe Biden’s administration was using charter flights to ferry underage migrants from the southern border to the Westchester County Airport near White Plains.

The migrant flights were suspended following the expose but have quietly resumed, The Post reported earlier this month.

Rob Astorino said a 1951 statute gives Gov. Kathy Hochul the power to determine the identities of foreigners who arrive in New York.
Hans Pennink

The 1951 law says the governor can “direct every subject or citizen of such foreign countries” to appear at a government facility within 24 hours of arrival and “personally register his or her name, residence, business, length of stay and such other information.”

The law also requires hotels and others providing housing to report the arrival and departure of newly arrived foreigners within 24 hours.

“A failure to comply with any such proclamation or to perform any act required by this section shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment for one year or both,” the law states.

Astorino said he wrote Biden in February and demanding details about the flights, including passenger manifests.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino accused Gov. Kathy Hochul of failing to enforce an existing state law.
Hans Pennink

The White House never responded, he said.

Astorino also said Hochul has remained “silent” in response to his calls for her to get answers from the Biden administration.

The migrant flights that land at Westchester County Airport are typically met by buses which transport the passengers into communities throughout New York State, or other states. The migrants are accompanied by government-contracted chaperones.

Communities who are given little or no information about who’s arriving have to scramble to accommodate the new immigrants, including enrolling them in local schools, Astorino said. 

An immigrant (backpack and luggage) from the Mexican border entering a building in the Bronx with a government contractor.
An immigrant from the Mexican border entering a building in the Bronx with a government contractor.
Christopher Sadowski

Astorino’s get-tough on illegal immigration bid clashes with the generous policies of Hochul and other Democrats, which he complains only encourages more illegal border crossings and more migrants to flood the state.

Hochul and the Democratic-run legislature inserted a provision in the recently approved state budget making older, undocumented immigrants eligible for Medicaid, the government-provided health insurance program for the needy — as long as they meet eligibility requirements.

The state is footing the entire cost of the $220 million program to cover undocumented immigrants age 65 and older because US law bars using federal dollars for illegal immigrants.

Last year, the state set up a $2.1 billion “excluded workers fund” to provide assistance to workers ineligible for other federal COVID-19 pandemic relief funds or unemployment benefits — mostly residents living here illegally.

New York City is labeled a “sanctuary” municipality, where official policy is to protect illegal immigrants from deportation — including by barring local law enforcement authorities from reporting the immigration status of residents to federal authorities.

Hochul’s office had no immediate comment.