County Executive Bello says he supports deploying National Guard for security of asylum seekers

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello says he supports deploying the National Guard to support security for the asylum seekers that the county is hosting.

In a statement on Monday, Bello said he has also asked to governor’s office for more resources to support security and public health for asylum seekers. Here is the full statement:

“Unlike most other counties, County Executive Bello’s executive order gives the Monroe County an enforcement mechanism to ensure both the county and asylees are protected. After observing recent occurrences in other counties hosting asylees, County Executive Bello has been in contact with the Governor’s office to request additional resources for security – and supports deployment of the National Guard to Monroe County. Additional support from New York State was also requested in other areas such as public health.”

Seventy-seven asylum seekers arrived in Rochester on Monday, Aug. 7 and are receiving housing, food, and medical care with funding from New York City. They’re staying at the Holiday Inn downtown. The county is expecting more asylum seekers to arrive but the second wave was postponed on Monday.

Bello’s Republican opponent in the race for county executive, Mark Assini, called the National Guard request a recognition of the danger that Bello has put the community in. Here is Assini’s statement:

“I am calling on the County Executive to take a complete pause on the flow of migrants to Rochester. Monroe County must first address the crisis facing residents in our own backyard with record setting crime, homelessness, murders, fentanyl deaths, poverty, understaffed police and an overburdened child protective system. When we have addressed our own community crisis we can then re-examine the migrant situation.”

In Erie County, the National Guard will go to hotels where asylum seekers are staying as a “stabilizing presence”, reports our Buffalo NBC affiliate. Erie County has paused taking in new asylum seekers until it evaluates its security. The decision comes after an asylum seeker in Cheektowaga was charged with sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment.