As National Guard is deployed to Rochester, 20 of 77 asylum-seekers return to New York City

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Twenty of the 77 asylum-seekers that came to Rochester last week have gone back to New York City, Monroe County confirmed Tuesday. This brings the current number of asylum-seekers from New York City in Rochester down to 57. The county said Tuesday those who returned did so because they didn’t understand they were being relocated to Rochester in the first place.

This comes as the National Guard gears up to arrive in Monroe and Erie counties, the governor’s office confirmed Tuesday evening. County representatives said that County Executive Adam Bello reached out to the governor’s office to request the National Guard as well as additional security measures in Rochester.

He made this decision in response to two cases of alleged sexual assault involving asylum-seekers in Erie County. That same day, county officials confirmed that they are still waiting on a second and potential third group of asylum-seekers.

With 70 rooms at the Holiday Inn blocked off, the county said they’re prepared to welcome more people seeking asylum.

Last week, the owner of the Holiday Inn on State Street said he was expecting a second group of families to arrive on Monday, but as of Tuesday evening, they haven’t arrived. Representatives with the county said there was no hard and fast schedule for the families coming to Rochester.

News10NBC reached out to DocGo, the company contracted to move and house asylum-seekers throughout New York State, about how, why, and when people are being moved. They responded before News10NBC was made aware of those moved here without their knowledge.

DocGo representatives said the following:

“Facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in New York State, DocGo remains unwavering in providing comprehensive services to asylum seekers, ranging from medical care, social work, case work, and daily essentials including meals and laundry. Collaborating closely with New York City and local officials, we engage with community-based organizations and prioritize local vendors, including those minority-, woman-, and veteran-owned, to ensure seamless care. In Rochester, like in all other cities where we operate, our senior leadership actively connects with local entities to foster understanding and enhance service delivery. A top priority for us is to protect the safety and privacy of each of the guests in this program given their status as asylum seekers from persecution and serious human rights violations in their home country.”

The county said that DocGo is looking into how these people were relocated to Rochester without their understanding. News10NBC has requested a statement from DocGo regarding those who went back to New York City, but has not yet heard back.