Posted on August 17, 2023

New York National Guard to Secure Hotels Sheltering Immigrants Following Sexual Assaults

Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, August 16, 2023

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) is sending New York Army National Guard soldiers to upstate counties where immigrants have been bused out of New York City and placed in hotels following sexual assault allegations at an Erie County shelter.

The deployment of an unspecified number of new soldiers to Erie County is in addition to 1,800 who have already been activated by Hochul to provide security and assistance at 30 hotel immigrant shelters in New York City, according to the governor’s office. Another 18 hotels where immigrants are housed have been staffed by state and local police.

The move comes days after New York City bused hundreds of immigrants to two hotels located more than 350 miles to the opposite side of the state, in Erie and Monroe Counties. Approximately 500 immigrants were moved into a hotel in Cheektowaga over the weekend.

In the past two weeks, two immigrants were arrested in separate incidents for sexual abuse and imprisonment, including one attack against a worker for a local immigrant assistance organization in early August and another against an immigrant on Aug. 11, the day before Hochul’s military activation.


The New York Immigration Coalition disagreed with the state’s decision to send the military into the upstate hotels.

“The reality is that a militarized presence will reaffirm the kind of beliefs that have historically resulted in violence directed towards asylum seekers and people of color,” said Cassandra Bocanegra, NYIC’s manager of organizing and strategy for the Finger Lakes region, in a statement.