Immigrant Advocates Denounce Putnam County’s Extreme Asylum Seeker Ban

New York, NY—Yesterday, the Putnam County Legislature passed a measure to expand the Putnam County Code entitled “Unauthorized Operation of Homeless Shelters,” to include temporary housing of asylum seekers. In addition, the County Executive Kevin Byrne has advanced legislation to make Putnam a ‘rule of law’ county, to remove any ‘sanctuary designation’ associated with Putnam.

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:

“The actions taken by the Putnam County lawmakers amount effectively to an asylum seeker ban. This is a cruel measure fueled by hate, racism and xenophobia. It’s shameful to see local officials exploit vulnerable immigrant families for cheap political points. We know that their actions do not represent the county’s diverse constituents who have stood by immigrants and have previously welcomed new neighbors with open arms, dignity and respect, just as New Yorkers have for generations. Immigrants have added to the social and cultural richness and economic success of communities across our state for centuries, and they stand to deliver new vibrancy to our communities at a time of economic uncertainty. We call on the Putnam County Legislature to immediately rescind this dangerous ban and, if not, we will explore legal actions.”