On Saturday at 11:43AM on November 11, 2023, Mayor Patrick McGrady received an email from a Mohamed Moses Fahmy who claimed to represent an organization called the Greater Baltimore Area Motel Consortium. His email claimed that this consortium has been working with the State of Maryland and Mayor of New York City to provide housing, food, security, and case management services specifically at 980 Hospitality Way Aberdeen, MD 21001.
Specifically, Mr. Fahmy indicated that this site could house as many as 115 families of primarily Spanish-speaking migrants eligible for Temporary Protective status for a period of 1 year.
Immediately, Mayor McGrady sought to find answers to many of the questions raised by this email. Mayor McGrady involved the Aberdeen Police Chief, the Director of Planning, and the Harford County Executive in this email chain to collaborate on ways to learn more about this proposal before it became a reality.
By Monday evening, lots of emails were circulated among different groups, trying to get to the facts of the matter. On Monday evening at the regular meeting of the Aberdeen City Council, Mayor McGrady informed the Aberdeen City Council of the email received on 11/11/2023 and the efforts to learn more about the situation.
On Tuesday morning, Mayor McGrady spoke on the phone with Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly to discuss the email and the steps each were taking to learn more about the problem and inform all the relevant government entities to ensure preparation for the potential challenges to come from the relocation of these migrants to our community. Mayor McGrady and County Executive Cassilly agreed on the seriousness of this matter, and agreed to work together to try and understand the situation so we could stop it before it became a reality.
By Tuesday afternoon, the Manager of the Comfort Suites at 980 Hospitality Way in Aberdeen confirmed that they would not be participating in New York’s Refugee program.
Also on Tuesday, Mayor McGrady received a call from Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler with questions about the email. Mayor McGrady forwarded the email to Sheriff Gahler.
On Wednesday morning, the Office of Wes Moore confirmed to Mayor McGrady that the Governor is not aware of any plans to house migrants in Aberdeen.
From Harford County government:
County Executive Cassilly Statement on Efforts to Relocate Undocumented Immigrants to Harford County
County Executive Bob Cassilly today issued the following statement on possible efforts to relocate undocumented immigrants to Harford County.
“My office received an unsolicited letter on Monday from an unknown organization indicating that they were working to bring up to 105 families of undocumented immigrants from New York City to the Holiday Inn in Belcamp. A letter from the same organization was sent to the mayor of Aberdeen about bringing 115 families to the Comfort Inn & Suites on Hospitality Way. We are working to verify the accuracy of these letters.
My administration immediately reached out to the governor’s office and the Maryland Department of Human Services and officials in New York City, and they have no record of this effort. However, if it is true, I will use every resource at my disposal to prevent it.
The people of Harford County are kind and generous, but we do not have the resources, school capacity, or funding to support 220 immigrant families with an unknown number of children who will overwhelm our schools. These families are the victims of the federal government’s inhumane and disastrous open border policy and New York’s virtue-signaling as sanctuary city. I will not allow Harford County citizens to pay for the failures of leadership in Washington D.C. and New York City.”
From Harford County Councilman Aaron D. Penman:
Councilman Penman has learned of a letter sent to County Executive Cassilly over the weekend and of a potential meeting set for later this week with the Cassilly Administration and a Motel Trade Association Executive and activist who is looking to relocate illegal immigrants from New York City to multiple motels in Harford County.
“The citizens of Harford County have a right to know if the County Executive is entertaining a deal to bring illegal immigrants into our community and place extreme challenges on our public safety, schools, and social service infrastructure. Harford County is not the appropriate location to place illegal immigrants who are being used as ping pong balls in President Biden’s failed open border policy.”
Councilman Penman stands firm against illegal immigration and will advocate to stop this and any further efforts to burden our community’s infrastructure with those who are here illegally.
Today, Councilman Penman has announced his intention to draft legislation that will prevent hotels and motels in Harford County, which are designed for temporary short-term housing, from being converted into makeshift shelters to house illegal immigrants.