MALONE — Franklin County declared a state of emergency for the period beginning at 3 p.m. yesterday, county announced in a press release issued late Tuesday. The declaration will remain in effect for 30 days, or until 11:59 p.m. on June 21. The declaration will be reviewed prior to its expiration to determine if an extension should be considered, the release stated.
According to the release, the state of emergency has been declared to address concerns related to the May 11 expiration of Title 42, an order that prohibited the migration into the United States by “covered non-citizens” traveling from Canada or Mexico that would otherwise be introduced to a congregate setting at a port of entry, U.S. Border Patrol station, or near U.S. land and adjacent coastal borders.
St. Lawrence County took the same step last week, according to reporting in the Watertown Daily Times.
The Telegram or its sister publications have not received any reports of a wave of migrants at either the Franklin or St. Lawrence county’s border with Canada followng the expiration of Title 42.
Franklin County shares 34 miles of border with Canada including three border crossings – in Fort Covington, Trout River, and Chateaugay, which officials say presents a “high probability of an influx of individuals who may be seeking shelter,” the release stated.
The Title 42 order expired simultaneously with the federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration, the release said.
“Franklin County consistently rates in the top 10 poorest counties in New York State and is not equipped to meet the needs of those individuals who may be looking to enter the United States at the border crossing in the county,” a statement signed by Edward Lockwood, chair of the Franklin County legislature and county manager Donna Kissane read. “The arrival of an increased number of individuals will further challenge the limited resources currently available to meet the needs of the existing population.
“There is potential that this is a scenario which could create a disaster emergency which could threaten the health and safety and coule result in the loss of life and/or property.”
On May 9, Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul issued executive order number 28 declaring a disaster emergency in the state of New York until at least June 8, the release said.
According to the release, local emergency orders may be promulgated by the chair of the board of legislators in accordance with article 2-B of the New York State Executive Law during this state of emergency. This emergency order would be issued in order to protect life and property and allow emergency and municipal personnel time to bring the emergency conditions under control.
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