Mayor Eric Adams plans to travel to El Paso, Texas, this weekend to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, as the migrant crisis continues to escalate in New York City.
His office did not immediately provide details of the trip, but said he will travel Saturday and return Sunday after “making multiple stops at and near the U.S. southern border.”
The trip comes as his administration said Friday that more than 3,100 asylum seekers arrived in the city in the past week, including 835 on just one day — the largest single-day arrival the city has seen.
What You Need To Know
- Mayor Eric Adams plans to travel to El Paso, Texas, this weekend to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, as the migrant crisis continues to escalate in New York City
- The trip comes as his administration said Friday that more than 3,100 asylum seekers arrived in the city in the past week
- The mayor is calling on the state and federal governments to support New York City as officials strain to provide housing and support for the tens of thousands of migrants that have arrived since the beginning of last year, some bussed in by the governments of states like Florida and Texas
- Adams said Friday the city will need up to $2 billion to help manage the crisis, but did not include that number in his budget proposal
The mayor is calling on the state and federal governments to support New York City as officials strain to provide housing and support for the tens of thousands of migrants that have arrived since the beginning of last year, some bussed in by the governments of states like Florida and Texas.
“Our price tag could be anywhere from $1.5 to $2 billion,” Adams said on Caribbean Power Jam’s “The Reset Show” Friday morning, describing the cost of the crisis for the city. “That’s the price tag that we are facing. Where does that money come from? That money comes from our schools, it comes from our public safety, our hospitals, our infrastructure, our ACS services. Those are our tax dollars that it’s coming from.”
Congress allocated $800 million to help cities manage the flow of migrants, but only part of that will come to New York City. Adams said on the radio show Friday the city needs at least $1 billion in additional funding from the federal government, if not more.
“That is just inhumane on the part of the national government and I really believe it’s irresponsible that we have not had a real national response to what’s happening at our border,” the mayor said.
Last week, President Joe Biden visited El Paso himself after announcing a new legal pathway for as many as 30,000 migrants a month from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua to come temporarily to the United States. However, he left in a pandemic-era policy known as Title 42 that allows border agents to immediately turn back migrants from those countries at the border.
The move, praised by Adams at the time, drew ire from some immigrants and advocates in the city.
“If you’re trying to leave Cuba, Nicaragua or Haiti, or have agreed to begin the journey to America: Do not — do not — just show up at the border,” the president said. “Stay where you are and apply legally from there.”
Mexico also agreed to accept up to 30,000 people a month in certain cases. In November alone, more than 230,000 people attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, according to federal data.
At a press conference Thursday, announcing his preliminary budget proposal for fiscal year 2024, the mayor had harsh words for state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who criticized Adams for not including the projected costs of the flow of asylum seekers in his budget plan.
“The city has chosen not to reflect the anticipated recurring costs associated with asylum seekers, which remains one of a number risks the city will have to grapple with,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “The city must lay out these and other risks transparently so that it may continue to plan and identify new ways to close these gaps without harming services, which would be counterproductive to the city, and state’s, economic recovery.”
The mayor responded by asking a reporter to call the comptroller, put him on speakerphone, and ask what DiNapoli has done to assist the city in getting federal aid.
“I mean, can you believe it? We’re the only ones that are saying, ‘federal government, do your job.’” But everyone is telling us to do our job, which we are doing every day," Adams said.
Before announcing his trip to El Paso, the mayor made an “emergency mutual aid request” of New York state to help shelter at least 500 asylum seekers initially.
“This type of request, reserved only for dire emergencies, asks the state for support to shelter arriving asylum seekers as the city faces an immediate need for additional capacity,” Adams said in a statement. “Our initial request is for shelter to accommodate 500 asylum seekers, but, as New York City continues to see numbers balloon, this estimate will increase as well.”