ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This week on Empire State Weekly, upstate counties continue to push back against accepting asylum seekers from New York City. State lawmakers, including Congressman Marc Molinaro have characterized the situation as “chaotic.”

This week, Murad Awawdeh the Executive Director for the New York Immigration Coalition, explained that he believes the current situation is not very different from the State’s long history of welcoming immigrants.

“I think that what we are seeing in this moment is no different than years prior right? Migration has always happened with immigrants coming to the state of New York. The only difference in this situation is that people actually need a little bit of help with housing because they dont have a familial or community connection.” Said Awawdeh.

Also this week, this years legislative session is set to end June 8th. Some pieces of legislation will get a last minute push, in hopes of seeing them pass before the deadline. Assembly Minority Leader, Republican, Will Barclay explained that discussions of important issues will continue.

“The one thing we have as republicans is a bully pulpit. And we just keep hammering on some of these issues, like crime, and we have seen some changes. They don’t go as far as we’d like, but bail’s been reformed three times I think now because of our pressure on that. It needs to go a lot farther, but at least we do have a voice in it, and we’re going to keep using that voice and speak loudly about the issues we feel strongly about.”

Additionally this week, Sargent Jonathan Cook with the New York State Police, talked on the efforts to combat impaired driving since the legalization of adult use recreational marijuana. He explained the importance of educating the public that if they want to use a legal substance like alcohol or marijuana use it safely at home, but do not drive while impaired.

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