Cortland County’s emergency order remains in effect; meeting to be held today

Kevin Fitch. (Photo Source: Timothy A. Bennett. Owner & Publisher of The Cortland Voice).

Cortland County’s emergency order continues to remain in effect.

The county’s emergency order, declared on May 12 by chief executive Kevin Fitch (R-LD-8), prohibits county hotels, motels, owners of multi-family dwellings or owners of real property from accepting undocumented immigrants that may seek entry into the county, according to a release.

This comes after the country’s Title 42 expired on May 11. Details on the impact of Title 42 expiring can be viewed by clicking here.

“This is a national crisis that should not be left to New York State counties,” Fitch said in a release. “A national plan needs to be put together, with a plan for how to house, feed, provide medical care, and so forth for these people. Cortland County, along with other New York counties, is not prepared for a flood of asylum seekers, and it is not fair to the county, or the asylum seekers, to send busloads of people with no plan of what to do with them after they arrive. Cortland County currently has a homelessness issue that continues to climb, as well as a housing shortage and opioid epidemic; any addition, like the possibility of having asylum seekers offloaded in Cortland County will cripple the system.”

Cortland County’s emergency will be in effect through June 10. The state of emergency was slated to expire on Sunday, but could be in effect for an additional five days. 

According to the release, the county’s emergency orders are not against individuals seeking asylum.

The county has a Committee of the Whole meeting at 6 p.m. today to conduct an asylum seeker discussion. The agenda can be viewed by clicking here.

“Cortland County strives to be an inclusive community,” noted in the release. “These measures are in place due to the limitations of housing and services currently available in Cortland County. A plan needs to be established to know how Cortland County can assist with this national issue.”

A complete breakdown of the county’s emergency order is here. According to the county’s emergency order, those who violate these provisions will be charged with a Class-B Misdemeanor.