What Are Your Rights: Breaking Down The Migrant Crisis

Recorded on September 21, 2022

A record high number of migrants were recently bused to New York City from Texas. Since August we’ve seen thousands of migrants have been sent to blue states and cities from the southern border, but there are questions about the legality of it all. In this week’s “What are Your Rights” segment, Attorney Paul Harding of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP is on CBS6 to help examine the issue.

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Announcer: Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

Interviewer: A record high number of migrants were bused to New York City this past Sunday. Since August we’ve seen thousands of migrants sent to blue states and cities from the southern border, but there are questions about the legality of it all. So Paul Harding with Martin Harding and Mazzotti is here to break down for us all of this in this week’s “What Are Your Rights?” segments. So first, we’re hearing a lot of rumblings about this really being compared to human trafficking. So does that claim really stand?

Paul: It really doesn’t. Human trafficking is defined by the national labor. It says that you’d have to obtain either fraudulently or forcibly someone to perform labor or a commercial sex act. Right? So those facts don’t exist here. Maybe by analogy they’re kind of feeling someone’s forced into something, but by the letter of the law, this is not human trafficking.

Interviewer: Got you. So then what is the issue with what is happening here?

Paul: Well, the critics say, “Hey, we’re using these immigrants as political pawns.” Right? We know that there are certain states that are getting what they feel overrun by immigrants and you’ve got other states that are sort of geographically protected and so they’re not feeling the pain. So the governors are saying, “Hey, we’re gonna let you feel some of this pains because you support it so much.” And then the states who are receiving it are saying, “Listen, we just didn’t know they were coming. If we knew they were coming, had more time, we could have thought this process out.” So these folks are getting caught in the middle, and of course it’s just political fodder.

Interviewer: Right. And so what legal action can these states take, if any, or cities?

Paul: So what they’re looking at is saying, “Hey, look, these illegal immigrants that came across, they didn’t know where they were going. They didn’t properly.. Weren’t aware and they were being shipped.” The defense is saying, “Well, no. They signed waivers in their language. They knew they were being shipped.” So looking into is some criminality as it pertains to taking people and shipping them. And again, critics of that say, “Look, they came into the country. They’re probably not so unhappy to show up at Martha’s Vineyard in New York City. That may have been an end goal for some of them.” And so this thing is just a bit of a mess and we are not sure how far it’s gonna go. If this keeps going, we will see Congress intervene.

Interviewer: I was gonna say, we’ve seen it escalate so much in just the last month or so. What happens now? Or how long could this really go on for?

Paul: Well, could go on in perpetuity. They’re saying that, “Look, we want to distribute the wealth.” Now, they’re just sending them to what they call the blue states. Right? If they’re going to divide it by 49 or 48 other states, maybe that is what their plan is gonna be. But so far it has been just the states that are defined by blue and defined by really supporting illegal immigration.

Interviewer: It’s always political, isn’t It?

Paul: It seems to be this one in a big way.

Interviewer: All righty. Well, thank you for joining us.

Paul: You’re welcome.

Interviewer: Thank you so much. And for more info covered in our weekly, “What Are Your Rights?” segments, or to send us a story idea, just head to our website: cbs6albany.com.

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