Mayor Eric Adams has traveled to the U.S southern border as he seeks assistance in dealing with a record number of migrants arriving in New York City.
He says the city needs help from the federal government and the state.
Friday, the mayor asked Gov. Kathy Hochul for help housing the asylum seekers, saying shelters are bursting at the seams from the endless flow of migrant buses.
Nearly 40,000 migrants have arrived in New York City in the past several months. We’re told 3,100 migrants arrived in the city last week, with 835 on Thursday alone — a record high.
“People are actually fleeing for their lives from government collapses, persecution,” said Murad Awawdeh with the New York Immigration Coalition. “We’re lacking leadership in this moment where we need to give people the opportunity to not only come into the United States, but to be able to have protections and the ability to work.”
The city has been providing them with a place to sleep, food, health care, mental health support and education for their kids.
Adams says the city is now at a breaking point and needs help to help those seeking a better life in our city.
“The federal government should have stepped in from day one, and that’s what we’ve been asking them to do. New York City is a right-to-shelter city,” Awawdeh said.
The city says the financial impact is hovering near $2 billion dollars; that’s double the initial projection.
Adams says the money is impacting every service in the city, from schools to infrastructure. He’s asking state and federal officials to step in.
“This is an issue that is heartbreaking for all of us, to see these individuals who traveled so far under such difficult circumstances just in search of the American dream. I told the mayor I’ll be continuing to help him. We’ve been helping him for many months and will continue to give him support,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Saturday.
The New York Immigration Coalition says while the federal government needs to do more, there is money in the pot and programs available to get the funding.
“We’re not sure where this request for increased funding keeps coming from,” Awawdeh said. “There is federal dollars available for the city to access, so there is money there. But in the grand scheme of things, the math just isn’t adding up from what the city is reporting to what we’re seeing.”
“The federal government could solve this problem overnight by allowing people work authorization,” said Jack Goldfein, with the Legal Aid Society.
The Legal Aid Society says the city can make more room for migrants, too.
“There are tens of thousands of New Yorkers already in the New York City shelter system who could move out if the city would assist them by investing in resources to allow them to access permanent housing,” Goldfein said.
In the middle of this crisis, there are human beings, including kids, who have been separated from loved ones, unsure where they’ll live or have their next meal.
“No one leaves their home because they feel safe. No one makes a 3,000-mile trek on foot through treacherous terrain, through a jungle, through rivers, to get to the southern border seeking safety because … that’s literally their last option to do to keep their families safe,” Awawdeh said.
Meanwhile, the mayor traveled to El Paso, Texas, on Saturday to make several stops near the United States’ southern border. He is expected to give an update from El Paso on Sunday and hold a news conference when he returns to the city to update New Yorkers.
A spokesperson for Gov. Hochul said, “We are reviewing the city’s recent requests,” and, “The federal government must to more to both fund localities and to deal with the crisis holistically.”
Hochul’s office said the state already deployed more than 900 members of the National Guard and invested millions of dollars in legal assistance for asylum seekers.