Councilman: Rotterdam was blindsided by migrants’ sudden arrival
ROTTERDAM – People with shirts that said “security” were walking around the Super 8 Motel on Curry Road, and the area around the motel is cordoned off.
The people at the motel Wednesday included children.
Rotterdam was blindsided by the arrival of busloads of migrants, Town Councilman Joseph Mastroianni said.
“Nobody from the county knew,” he said. “The town didn’t know that they were coming here. So we’re completely caught off guard.”
Buses carrying migrants arrived late Tuesday night.
“There’s a lot of issues,” said the councilman. “I mean, there’s a lot of external costs that are going to come on this. Maybe there’s going to be pressure on the school system. Maybe pressure on county social services.”
Guests and residents already staying there were suddenly kicked out on Tuesday morning, before the migrants arrived.
“Everybody has to exit the building,” visiting nurse Janice Galloway said Tuesday. “No reason, no warning, that’s it, get out.”
Mastroianni says it appears the motel has a year contract to house migrants from New York City.
“Rotterdam is not a Sanctuary Town. We did not invite these people in,” he said. “We had no idea what was coming to us. And to be thrust upon us like this, there’s just so much frustration in the public. And they’ve been communicating that to me. And I’ve been telling them, let your federal representatives know.”
He says he’s been inundated with calls and that their lawyer is working on a few different angles.
“There should have been communication,” he said. “There has to be some sort of legal distinction between operating a hotel/motel, and then housing migrants for an extended period of time and if there is a legal distinction on that, they should have come to the town for approval.”