Mayor Declares Asylum Seeker Crisis – NBC New York

New York City expects to spend at least $1 billion by the end of this fiscal year on the burgeoning shelter crisis that now has more than 61,000 people, more than a third of them children and one in five asylum seekers, in its system, Mayor Eric Adams said Friday as he declared an asylum seeker state of emergency.

One in five of those in the system are asylum seekers, people who have been bussed to the five boroughs from other parts of the country over the last few months, Adams said. And hundreds more are arriving each week.

As of Friday, the just-over 61,000 shelter system population included about 20,000 children. On any given day last June, the average shelter census was closer to 47,000 people, including about 15,000 children. The numbers keep rising — and at the current pace , the city’s shelter census will surpass 100,000 in the coming year.

At least nine buses arrived Thursday — and the city has been fielding five to six new arrivals daily since early September. Hundreds have arrived since April, mainly from America’s southern borders. Most of the people on those buses are adults who can’t legally work in this country so need long-term help, Adams said, which extends the reach of the crisis.

“Every day the total number gets higher. Every day, from this point forward, we are setting a new record,” Adams, a Democrat, said. “This is a humanitarian crisis that started with violence and instability in South America and it is being accelerated by American political dynamics.”

“This crisis is not one of our own making, but one that will affect everyone in this city, now and in the months ahead,” Adams said. “It is straining the limits of our ability to provide care for New Yorkers in need and it is burning through our city’s budget.”

The mayor said thousands of asylum-seekers had been dropped off in the city “without notice, consideration or care,” and while New York agencies have worked to assist them, the influx has been overwhelming. More than 40 emergency shelters have been set up and 5,500 children enrolled in schools, but the city lacks resources to keep up, he said.

“Our right-to-shelter laws, our social services and our values ​​are being exploited by others for political gain. New Yorkers are angry. I am angry too,” Adams said. “This responsibility was simply handed to us without warning as buses began showing up. There’s no playbook for this, no precedent.”

Adams called on state and federal partners once again Friday for additional assistance, demanding emergency financial relief, legislation that allows asylum-seekers to work and meaningful immigration reform, among other measures.

The situation escalated in July when Adams publicly blasted other states for busing migrants here, calling on the federal government to help. Those he accused, like the governors of Texas and Arizona, at first denied his claims.

But in early August Texas Gov. Greg Abbott raised the stakes by saying his state would in fact start sending buses full of migrants to New York City – sometimes half a dozen or more in one day. The city says Texas won’t say how many are coming, or when, or provide any vital information on the passengers.

Most of the consequences are, predictably, falling on the migrants. As News 4 has previously reported, the city has failed to meet its legal obligations to shelter people in a timely fashion on multiple days. Fights are breaking out in crowded facilities, and there is evidence that young children and pregnant mothers may not be getting enough milk to get through the day. One asylum seeker recently took her own life in a shelter.

Just this week, the city had to pull an about-face on a planned tent city for migrantsrelocating it after the neighborhood where it was supposed to be suffering some flooding. The situation is so dire, the city has even reportedly been negotiating to house migrants on docked cruise ships.

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