CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — NY-23 Congressman and former New York Republican State Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy is calling for action following the recent arrests of two asylum seekers in Erie County.
Last week, it was announced that Jesus Guzman-Bermudez, 26, a man seeking asylum from Venezuela, had been accused of rape. Officials say the alleged incident happened in the presence of a 3-year-old child in a Cheektowaga hotel room.
It was later announced on Saturday that another asylum seeker was accused of a sex crime inside a local hotel, as well. 22-year-old Kindu Jeancy, who came here from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was charged with sexually assaulting an employee of an organization that helps asylum seekers. His arrest came following a complaint from a 27-year-old Buffalo woman.
While work to improve security involving migrants continues, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says there will be no more asylum seekers coming to western New York from New York City for the time being.
The Erie County Legislature’s Republican Caucus had harsh words in a scathing critique of Poloncarz, saying he “invited this problem to Erie County.”
“Mark Poloncarz told us we were ‘morally repugnant’ for wanting to declare a State of Emergency. Mark Poloncarz told us these migrants were properly vetted and just looking for a better life. Mark Poloncarz invited this problem to Erie County. Mark Poloncarz should be ashamed for making our community less safe, for ridiculing those who didn’t trust that the system in place was working, for trusting that New York City and Albany had our best interests at heart. Mark Poloncarz is a feckless leader who put our residents in harm’s way by opening Erie County’s doors to those with wrong intentions.”Erie County Legislature Republican Caucus
Langworthy, also critical of Democratic leaders and policymakers, claims “This crisis is a result of President Biden’s dangerous open border policies and the sanctuary state policies of Albany Democrats.”
“No one in Erie County asked for this crisis to come here to this community,” he said.
NY-26 Congressman Brian Higgins, a Democrat, released the following statement to News 4 regarding the asylum seeker situation:
The federal government has to step up and take greater responsibility. The current situation places an unfair burden on communities. For generations people have come to this country, fleeing violence and persecution in desperate search of the liberties some take for granted: safety, freedom, and opportunity. Politicizing human beings is not the answer. Ultimately, Congress needs to work collaboratively to find real solutions through comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform.Congressman Brian Higgins
Langworthy is pushing for strengthened borders, as well as the passage of the Secure the Border Act — a federal bill introduced in May that calls for resumed U.S.-Mexico border wall construction among other security measures.
“I’ve been told by experts in the field, people that have dealt with this for 20 and 30 years, that maybe, maybe 8-10 percent of the people that have filled out this paperwork will actually be granted asylum when they get their court hearing,” Langworthy said. “Because of the backlog, because of this crisis of choice, these people are given dates of 2026, 2027, 2028 to come back. Now, who’s left to pick up the pieces in between? New York State, places that have become a destination for this.”
Langworthy, whose district includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and parts of Erie County, addressed what he referred to as a “migrant crisis” Monday morning in Cheektowaga.
At the conference, he also took aim at former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, criticizing a 2017 executive order to prohibit state agencies from inquiring about a person’s immigration status.
“As Washington squabbles over rolling back sensible immigration policy, we are taking action to help protect all New Yorkers from unwarranted targeting by government,” Cuomo said in the announcement of that executive order.
“It makes our communities a magnet for illegal immigration,” Langworthy said, calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to override Cuomo’s order with another executive order.
“I am not anti-immigrant. We are a nation of immigrants,” Langworthy said, later commenting “Without borders, we don’t have a country.”
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