Mayor Adams has sent out a stern warning to President Biden concerning the growing migrant crisis in New York City (NYC).
Adams stated, “New York City is the economic engine of this entire state and country. If you decimate this city, you’re going to decimate the foundation of what’s happening.”
Despite reaching out on more than 30 occasions already, Adams reveals that there has been no direct engagement with President Biden this year. The mayor did, however, acknowledge some communication with the White House and the involvement of Homeland Security in NYC. Yet, specifics on their role or discussions remained undisclosed.
Recent interactions between the mayor and the Biden administration saw Adams in a 30-minute closed-door meeting with Tom Perez, one of Biden’s top aides. This meeting transpired over a year after the escalating asylum seeker issue began. Mayor Adams’ Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack commented on the constructive dialogue: “We talked about sites, decompression, legal strategies, and work authorization pathways,” she explained.
But the impending financial impact is even more pressing. Adams indicated that the projected cost to care for the massive number of asylum seekers might soar to $12 billion.
Adams has consistently implored the Biden administration for financial assistance to manage the growing costs of sheltering and aiding these asylum seekers. Thus far, the federal government’s commitment has been limited to $142 million.
Every day, NYC witnesses a considerable influx of migrants, many of whom are escaping life-threatening situations in their home countries such as Venezuela. Midtown recently saw migrants sleeping on streets due to a lack of shelter beds. In a startling revelation, Varlack mentioned that the city currently caters to around 20,000 migrant children.
In a past visit to Washington, DC, Mayor Adams sought further federal funds and efficient documentation for the migrants. However, the commitment received was the allocation of a liaison from Homeland Security, an offer which failed to impress many local officials.
Compounding the matter are scenes from the city’s main intake center at the Roosevelt Hotel, where many asylum seekers were left homeless due to the overwhelmed shelter system. A recent update from City Hall highlighted the scale of the crisis: since last spring, NYC has accommodated approximately 100,000 migrants. More than 57,000 of these migrants still depend on the city’s resources.
Adams revealed the financial strain on the city, indicating a per-night expenditure of $383 on each migrant family. This daily cost accumulates to an exorbitant $9.8 million, totaling $3.6 billion annually. This number could increase if the migrant influx continues at its current rate.
In addition to the limited federal funds, the state, under Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul’s leadership, has agreed to bear $1 billion of the once estimated $4 billion cost.