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New Jersey governor says state can’t handle New York migrants

“It takes scale, huge federal support, resources beyond anything we can afford,” he said. “Put everything else aside, I just don’t see it. I suspect that will continue to be the case.

Murphy added that his office hasn’t heard about the case from federal officials or the White House, but that the state has “already seen people” who “probably are from New York or other places”.

The placement of migrants has become a frontline political issue in the region in recent months and has caused friction among Democrats. In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams clashed over where to house the migrants.

But the possibility of sending migrants to Atlantic County – one of New Jersey’s poorest counties – has drawn a bipartisan backlash from local authorities. Democratic and Republican candidates in the competitive race for the 2nd Legislative District — a district that includes Atlantic City and nearby Egg Harbor Township Airport — have strongly opposed sending migrants to the area from the city of New York.

Local authorities have also pledged to prevent the Biden administration from sending migrants to the area.

“All I can say is I will do my best to prevent this from happening,” Dennis Levinson, longtime Republican Atlantic County executive, said in an interview. “We can’t afford it. We are a poor county. We are one of the poorest counties in New Jersey. It is not a burden that I can impose on our taxpayers.

Murphy said the country should “responsibly and humanely secure our borders,” provide a pathway to status for millions of undocumented people in America, and overhaul the country’s legal immigration visa process, especially in a way that can help alleviate labor shortages.

“We’ve always been a nation of immigrants, but that doesn’t mean we can experience the Wild West,” Murphy said.


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