Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency to help respond to the city’s immigration crisis, which he told reporters Friday will cost the city $1 billion this fiscal year.
“We now have a situation where more people are coming to New York City than we can immediately accommodate, including families with infants and young children,” Adams said. “Once today’s bus asylum seekers are sheltered, we will surpass the highest number of people in recorded history in our city’s shelter system.”
The mayor called for emergency federal and state aid to handle the continuing influx of asylum seekers.
Adams’ declaration will direct all relevant city agencies to coordinate efforts to respond to the humanitarian crisis and build the city’s Emergency Humanitarian Aid and Response Centers. The state of emergency will be in effect for 30 days and can be extended, the mayor said.
New York City now has more than 61,000 people in its shelter system, including thousands homeless and thousands of asylum seekers who have been bussed in recent months from other parts of the country, according to the mayor. He said more than 17,000 asylum seekers have been bused into New York City from the southern border since April of this year.
Since the first week of October, Texas has spent more than $18 million transporting migrants, who have been processed and released by immigration authorities 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 were likely to foot the bill.
New York City’s shelter system is operating at nearly 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 immigrants, the mayor said, adding that if asylum seekers continue to pour into the city at the current rate, the total population within of the shelter system will exceed 100,000 in the next 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 potential program for New Yorkers to volunteer to welcome asylum seekers and the “homeless” into their homes.
“New Yorkers want to help, and we’ll make it simple and easy for them to do so,” said the Mayor.
Adams said in September that officials were assess how they will respond to the influx of migrantsincluding legal options.
“Once we finalize how we are going to continue to fulfill our legal and moral obligation, we will announce it. Until then, we’re just letting people know what we’re thinking and how we’re going to find creative ways to solve this man-made humanitarian crisis,” Adams said at an unrelated event.
A record number of migrants were bussed into the city on Sept. 18: nine in total, which is the most recorded in a single day in this recent wave, according to two city officials. At least 1,011 asylum seekers arrived from September 16 to 18, according to a third city official.
Texas has bused more than 11,000 immigrants to New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago since August, Abbott’s office announced in September.
Abbott and others who favor increasing immigration restrictions argue that the Biden administration’s policies have provided an incentive for more people to cross the border illegally. Some Republican candidates have pushed the narrative of an immigrant invasion as the midterm elections approach, promising they will do more to crack down on illegal immigration.
The bus campaign has led to arguments between Abbott and Adams, whose administration has accused the governor of using human beings as political pawns and whose city has long been considered a sanctuary for immigrants. The mayor has asked the federal government for more resources, including housing assistance. The White House said it is in contact with Adams and has committed to FEMA funding and other support.
Adams said he spoke with the mayor of El Paso and told him that New York City cannot accommodate that many asylum seekers. She said the city has been in contact with Abbott’s office, adding that the Texas governor and his team have not been open to communication.
Adams reiterated that New York City remains a sanctuary city, but stressed that it cannot handle such an overwhelming influx of immigrants.
“We’re not telling anyone that New York can accommodate every immigrant in the city,” the mayor said Monday. “We are not encouraging people to send eight, nine buses a day. That is not what we are doing. We are saying that as a sanctuary city with the right to housing, we are going to fulfill that obligation. That’s what we’re doing”.