Posted on December 4, 2023

House Passes Bill to Shut Down N.Y. Migrant Camp on National Park Land

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, November 30, 2023

The House voted Thursday to shut down President Biden’s use of National Park Service land in New York to house illegal immigrants in a first test vote of how communities are responding to the unprecedented surge of migrants.

Republicans’ bill would block the administration from using any federal land agencies to house migrants. It also would cancel the lease the park service granted to stash thousands of migrants at Floyd Bennett Field, a former military airfield that now hosts fishing, youth sports and a children’s petting zoo.

The GOP had hoped to harness local communities’ anger at the migrants flooding their streets and shelters in an attack on Mr. Biden’s policies, but drew just six Democrats in the 224-203 vote to pass the legislation.

“What’s next? Illegal alien ‘Bidenvilles’ on the National Mall right here in Washington, D.C.?” Rep. Tom Tiffany, Wisconsin Republican, asked.

New York City struck the deal to house migrants on the park site after complaining that its shelters and hotels are full and it’s run out of other spaces. The result, Republicans said, is a tent city built on a flood plain, with inadequate public safety protection and few amenities.

“It’s no surprise that when the first busloads of migrants started arriving at Floyd Bennett Field, they turned right back around and refused to stay there,” Rep. Bruce Westerman, Arkansas Republican, said. {snip}

He said the deal also may have violated federal law by sidestepping environmental impact laws.


The six Democrats who backed the GOP were Reps. Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez of Texas; Donald Davis of North Carolina; Jared Golden of Maine; Mary Peltola of Alaska and Marie Perez of Washington.

The bill has little chance of seeing action in the Senate, particularly with Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, controlling the floor schedule.