Migrants: NYC Mayor Eric Adams declares state of emergency for asylum seekers
Mayor Eric Adams has declared a state of emergency to respond to the city’s migrant crisis, which he told reporters Friday will cost the city $1 billion this fiscal year.
“We now have a situation where more people are arriving in New York City than we can accommodate right now, including families with babies and young children,” Adams said. “Once housing is made available to asylum seekers from today’s buses, we would surpass the highest number of people in recorded history in our city’s emergency shelter system.”
The mayor called for emergency federal and state aid to deal with the ongoing influx of asylum seekers.
Adams’ statement will direct all relevant city authorities to coordinate efforts to respond to the humanitarian crisis and establish the city’s humanitarian emergency and relief centers. The state of emergency is valid for 30 days and can be extended, the mayor said.
New York City now has more than 61,000 people in its emergency shelter system, including thousands of homeless people and thousands of asylum seekers who have been brought in by bus from other parts of the country in recent months, the mayor said. He said more than 17,000 asylum seekers have been brought to New York City from the southern border since April this year.
As of the first week of October, Texas has spent more than $18 million busing migrants — who have been processed and released by immigration officials in Texas border communities — to Washington DC, New York City and Chicago. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the program in April as part of his response to the Biden administration‘s immigration policies, acknowledging that taxpayers would likely foot the bill.
New York City’s emergency shelter system is operating at almost 100% capacity, Adams said. The city expects to spend at least $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year to deal with the influx of migrants, the mayor said, adding that the overall population in the shelter system will do so if asylum seekers continue to flow into the city at the current rate entering the country will exceed 100,000 in the coming year.
Adams said 42 hotels have been set up as emergency shelters and 5,500 migrant children have been enrolled in schools.
The city is also exploring a possible program for New Yorkers to volunteer to welcome asylum seekers and “homeless people” into their homes.
“New Yorkers want to help, and we’re going to make it uncomplicated and easy for them,” the mayor said.
Adams said in September officials are evaluating how they will respond to the influx of migrants, including legal options.
“Once we have determined how we will continue to meet our legal and moral obligation, we will make this known. Until then, we’re just letting people know what we’re thinking about and how we’re going to find creative ways to solve this man-made humanitarian crisis,” Adams said at an independent event.
A record number of migrants were bussed into the city on September 18 — nine in total, the highest number in a single day in this latest wave, according to two city officials. At least 1,011 asylum seekers arrived between September 16 and 18, according to a third city official.
Texas has bused more than 11,000 migrants to New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago since August, Abbott’s office said in September.
The city of El Paso brought 7,754 migrants in 207 charter buses to New York and 2,091 to Chicago from Aug. 23 to Oct. 6, according to El Paso assistant city manager Mario D’Agostino. The migrants who were offered the city-funded buses had been processed by border police and released in the community.
Abbott and others who advocate increasing immigration restrictions argue that the Biden administration’s policies have created an incentive for more people to cross the border illegally. Some Republican candidates have pushed the narrative of a migrant invasion ahead of the midterm elections and vowed they will do more to crack down on illegal immigration.
The bus campaign has sparked squabbles between Abbott and Adams, whose administration has accused the governor of using people as political pawns and whose city has long been seen as a safe haven for migrants. The mayor has asked the federal government for more funding, including housing benefits. The White House said it is in contact with Adams and committed to FEMA funding and other support.
Adams said he spoke to the mayor of El Paso and told him New York City couldn’t accommodate as many asylum seekers. He said the city is in touch with Abbott’s office, adding that the Texas governor and his team have not been open to communication.
Adams reiterated that New York City is still a refuge city, but stressed that it was unable to handle such an overwhelming influx of migrants.
“We’re not telling anyone that New York can take any migrant in the city,” the mayor said Monday. “We don’t encourage people to send eight, nine buses a day. We don’t. We say that as a protected city with a right to protection, we will fulfill this obligation. This is what we do.”