Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency to help respond to the city’s immigrant crisis, which he told reporters Friday will cost the city $1 billion this fiscal year.
“We have a situation where more people are coming to New York City right now than we can immediately accommodate, including families with babies and young children,” Adams said. “If asylum seekers can be accommodated from today’s buses, we will surpass the largest number of people ever recorded in our city’s shelter system.”
The mayor called for urgent federal and state aid to handle the continued influx of asylum seekers.
Adams’ declaration will direct all relevant city agencies to coordinate efforts to respond to the humanitarian crisis and set up the city’s Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers. The state of emergency will remain in effect for 30 days and may be extended, the mayor said.
New York City now has more than 61,000 people in its shelter system, including thousands of homeless people and thousands of asylum seekers who have been bussed in from other parts of the country in recent months, the mayor said. He said more than 17,000 asylum seekers have been bussed from the southern border to New York City since April of this year.
In the first week of October, Washington DC, New York City and Chicago have bused more than 18 million immigrants – processed and released by immigration officials in Texas border communities. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the plan in April as part of his response to the Biden administration’s immigration policies, and acknowledged that taxpayers are likely to foot the bill.
New York City’s shelter system is operating at 100% capacity, Adams said. The city expects to spend at least $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year dealing with the influx of immigrants, the mayor said, adding that if asylum seekers continue to enter the city at current rates, the total population in the shelter system will increase. It will cross 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 house asylum seekers and the “homeless” in their homes.
“New Yorkers want to help, and we’re going to make it straightforward and easy for them,” the mayor said.
Adams said in September that officials Assessing how they will respond to the influx of immigrantsincluding legal options.
“Once we’ve finalized how we’re going to continue to live up to our legal and moral obligations, we’re going to announce that. Until then, we’re letting people know what we think and how we’re going to find creative ways to solve this man-made humanitarian crisis,” Adams said at an unrelated event.
According to two city officials, a record number of migrants were bussed into the city on Sept. 18 — a total of nine, the most for a single day in this latest wave. At least 1,011 asylum seekers arrived between September 16 and September 18, according to a third city official.
Texas has sent 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 support increased immigration restrictions argue that the Biden administration’s policies have encouraged more people to cross the border illegally. Some Republican candidates have pushed the narrative of an immigrant invasion as the midterm elections approach, promising to do more to crack down on illegal immigration.
The bus campaign led to a spat between Abbott and Adams, whose administration has accused the governor of using him as a political pawn and whose city has long been considered a sanctuary for immigrants. The mayor has asked the central government for additional resources including housing facilities. The White House said it is in contact with Adams and has pledged FEMA funding and other support.
Adams said he spoke with the mayor of El Paso and said New York City could not accommodate so many asylum seekers. He said the city has been in contact with Abbott’s office, saying the Texas governor and his team have not been open to communication.
Adams reiterated that New York City is still a sanctuary city.
“We’re not telling anyone that we can accommodate every immigrant in New York City,” the mayor said Monday. “We’re not encouraging people to send eight or nine buses a day. That’s not what we’re doing. We’re saying we’re going to fulfill that obligation as a sanctuary city. That’s what we’re doing,” he said.