Gov. Hochul has pointedly ignored a question about solving the Big Apple’s mounting migrant crisis — and refused to say Monday whether she’s trying to relocate some asylum-seekers to other cities upstate.
During a brief Q&A with reporters before marching in the Columbus Day Parade on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, The Post asked Hochul if she’d followed up on US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s plan to relieve the pressure of new arrivals.
Hochul was looking right at the reporter and her eyes widened when she heard the question.
But instead of responding, the Democratic governor — who faces Republican challenger Lee Zeldin in the Nov. 8 election — turned to another reporter who’d already asked an apparently prearranged question about Sunday’s shooting outside Zeldin’s house on Long Island.
After answering that reporter’s second question, Hochul didn’t take any others and headed to the parade.
Last month, The Post exclusively reported that Gillibrand reached out to Hochul’s office to seek her support to move migrants from the city to underpopulated areas upstate.
The plan would allow those communities to use the new residents to qualify for pork-barrel federal funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-Washingtonville), who’s running for Congress against US Rep. Pat Ryan (D-Kingston), said Gillibrand’s plan was “so egregious and dangerous that even Kathy Hochul is hiding from this issue.”
“Between the secret migrant flights landing at Orange County Airport and this disastrous proposal, the illegal immigration crisis that is being exported to the Hudson Valley has pushed our local communities to a breaking point,” he said.
Schmitt also vowed that, if elected, Gillibrand’s plan would only be implemented “over my dead body.”
Despite her deaf ear Monday, Hochul claimed last week on Bloomberg TV to be consumed by the migrant crisis and attacked the Republican governors who’ve relocated them to Democratic areas to protest President Biden’s controversial border policy.
“We have been working almost hourly with the City of New York since the immigrants — or the migrants, started arriving,” she said.
“And it’s something that we’re working — first of all, to say that human beings should not be used as political pawns.”
Hochul added, “Once they come here, they need a place to stay, a transitional time, usually upwards of a week in order to get, you know, their feet on the ground and to find a place to live.
“So this is just a temporary situation but, absolutely, we’re working with the federal government as well,” she said.
“I’ve raised this with the White House, that this calls for a federal solution,” Hochul said.
“Let’s look at federal facilities, federal staff to help supplement the city and the state is doing the same, trying to lend our support in site selections and making sure that, you know, this does not get out of control, that we can manage this with the scale we have right now.”
On Friday, Mayor Adams declared a state of emergency over the influx of asylum-seeking migrants, saying they were about to push the city’s shelter population to an all-time high and cost taxpayers $1 billion for housing and social services.
“This is unsustainable,” Adams said.
As of Thursday, City Hall estimated that 17,400 migrants have flooded into the Big Apple since May.
While marching in the parade Monday, Adams said that another 1,800 showed up this past weekend but he declined to discuss the situation further while getting into his official vehicle afterward.
A Gillibrand spokesperson didn’t return a request for comment.