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Hochul urges NY GOP Reps to support Senate border bill. NY GOP Reps say its dead on arrival

Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke in Syracuse on Feb. 5, 2024 and urged New York's 10 House Republican members to support the border bill.
Ellen Abbott
Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke in Syracuse on Feb. 5, 2024 and urged New York's 10 House Republican members to support the border bill.

The border issue is heating up in New York state politics. Gov. Kathy Hochul is asking the state’s Republican congressional delegation to vote for a $118 billion piece of legislation meant to deal with the border crisis, that’s supported by President Joe Biden.

At a stop in Syracuse Monday, Hochul said the deal that changes asylum laws and provides money for localities, will help New York. She accuses the GOP of stonewalling the bill.

"Their refusal to change the asylum laws which are being abused right now — they need to be changed," Hochul said. "We need money for the state of New York to help us compensate the city and work with them to cover these expensive costs. And we have to just say 'We are at capacity. We have to have limitations.' And if Republicans refuse to do that, then this is on their hands."

There are 10 Republican members of the House of Representatives in Congress from New York State. Hochul asked all of them to support an agreement that would change asylum laws and provide money for localities dealing with migrants.

"They have enough of a voice to work together with the Democrats and have enough votes to make sure that this would become a reality," Hochul said. "Locally here in Syracuse, I'm calling on Congressman Williams to join with all the other members and be the coalition of the willing. Those willing to solve this problem and not just grandstand."

Central New York Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Sennett) isn’t answering the call. He said he won’t vote for legislation that GOP leaders say is dead on arrival in the House. Williams said "The bill has two objectives, cramming through more spending, and giving Biden a ‘get out of jail free card on the border.'”

"5,000 illegal entries per day is a crisis, not a fix," Williams said in a statement. "Expanding work authorizations for illegal immigrants is a magnet for illegal immigration, not a fix. Billions of taxpayer dollars used to fly migrants across the country is trafficking, not a fix. No reforms to the asylum process are insulting to the American people, not a fix."

North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuyerville) said she will also vote no, saying the legislation fails in every policy area needed to secure the border and would incentivize more illegal immigration.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it has support in the Senate, and he wants to schedule a vote Wednesday.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.