(You can watch the full address in the video player above.)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Gov. Kathy Hochul addressed the asylum seeker crisis in New York State Thursday, calling on the federal government to take executive action in providing work authorization, support, and shelter for asylum seekers in NYS.

“For over a year, I have called for federal assistance and support for New York as we manage the unprecedented number of asylum seekers arriving in our state,” Hochul said. “New York cannot continue to do this on its own. It is past time for President Biden to take action and provide New York with the aid needed to continue managing this ongoing crisis.” 

Hochul stated that she sent a letter to President Joe Biden, demanding action and additional federal resources as NYS continues to managed the influx of asylum seekers.

“The reality is, we’ve managed thus far without substantive support from Washington, despite the fact that this is a nation and inherently a federal issue,” said Hochul. “New York has shouldered this burden for far too long.”

More than 100,000 migrants came to New York City, according to DocGo, an organization that shifted from COVID vaccines and testing to assist in the asylum seekers crisis. Roughly 500 were sent to Erie County from there, with the first arriving in June.

Locally, the arrival of asylum seekers was met with controversy, with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz welcoming them and a number of Republican politicians criticizing the move. The controversy was amplified by the news of two recent arrests pertaining to alleged sexual assaults.

Counsel for Gov. Hochul says the influx of asylum-seeking migrants into New York has put a strain on state resources. In a recent letter, Hochul’s counsel was particularly critical of New York City’s handling of the situation.

Thursday, Hochul said that NYC and a coalition for the homeless, signed an agreement that shelter would be provided, in the city, to anyone that seeks it. However, the agreement does not apply to the rest of NYS.

“We cannot, and will not, force other parts of our state to shelter migrants,” Hochul said. “Nor will we be asking migrants to move to other parts of the state against their will.”

Locally, numerous asylum seekers were housed at a hotel on Dingens Street in Cheektowaga. In a board meeting Tuesday night, Town Supervisor Diane Benczkowski announced that she was told by Erie County officials that the migrants housed there would be moved to a hotel in Amherst, which Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa refuted.

Poloncarz has also said those at the Cheektowaga hotel will be moved, but it’s not clear where they’re going.

Elsewhere this week, 44 asylum seekers were evicted from Buffalo State University just before students began moving in for the school year. The school’s interim president, Bonita Durand, says many of the migrants were placed in permanent residences, so they won’t have to move again.

“That is a very good thing, and we were happy to be a part of helping Jericho Road achieve that accomplishment,” Durand said.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.