New York City Mayor Eric Adams has called on the Biden Administration to control the border and provide more aid to his city as it struggles to accommodate the arrival of tens of thousands of illegal alien, some of whom have applied for asylum status.
Mayor Adams first declared a state of emergency with an Emergency Executive Order in October of last year, a measure which he has since extended and that remains in effect as of July 29.
“Eventually this [is] going to come to a neighborhood near you,” Adams said in a press conference Monday.
“We need to control the border, we need to call a state of emergency, and we need to properly fund this national crisis,” he said.
The NYC mayor announced in June that the city was trying to find accommodations for more than 46,000 asylum seekers, and that they were considering a program to house the asylees in private residences.
The New York Post shared videos and pictures Monday of dozens of migrants sleeping on cardboard on the sidewalks outside the iconic Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, due to the city’s processing center for the migrants hitting capacity over the weekend.
Adams headed to Washington, D.C. last Thursday along with House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and other members of the city’s congressional delegation to meet with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and press the Biden Administration for aid in addressing the migrant crisis.
“We’re at a moment where the administration needs to make a decision,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told Spectrum Local News following the meeting. “I feel positive about us getting to that soon.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said that the Department of Homeland Security is assigning a liaison to the city, and that federal officials discussed how the administration can expedite work permits for those migrants that have applied for asylum status
Migrants to the U.S. who have been in the U.S. longer than six months are already eligible to obtain work authorizations.
“We cannot afford to have a situation where individuals are waiting for hearings and can’t work. In fact, they should be required to work,” Meeks told Spectrum. “Because if they’re working, that’s more tax money for us, and then they would not have to receive any taxpayer dollars or anything else.”
In May, Adams sought to have the city’s 39-year-old “right-to-shelter” law altered by the New York County Supreme Court, in order to suspend the city’s obligation to provide shelter to all homeless people who apply for it, provided that they meet certain qualifications.
“New York City cannot single-handedly provide care to everyone crossing our border. Being dishonest about that will only result in our system collapsing,” Adams said in a statement in May.
While running for mayor in 2021, Adams said that New York City would remain a sanctuary city under his administration.
“‘We should protect our immigrants.’ Period,” Adams said.
Adams’ comments echo those of Portland Mayor Kate Snyder, who on a WGAN interview with host Matt Gagnon in early July said that the city is being stretched beyond its resources due to the ongoing migrant and housing crises.
“As a city of 68,000 people, we’re just not equipped to manage the volume, in terms of need, when it comes to people who are looking for General Assistance benefits,” Snyder told Gagnon in the interview. “We don’t have the housing, we don’t have the emergency shelter, we don’t have the staff to support people with those needs.”
Mayor Snyder said she supported efforts from Maine’s congressional delegation to change federal law related to the six-month residency work requirement for asylum seekers.
“They’re really in this terrible situation, where again they’re here legally but can’t work, and they don’t have the housing or support services to follow them from the federal government,” she said.
Snyder said that as of July, upwards of 1600 asylum seeking individuals had arrived in Maine since this January.
In July, the City of Portland announced it was teaming up with the Quality Housing Coalition and the Greater Portland Council of Governments to launch a new program to house asylum seekers in the homes of landlords and homeowners with extra space.
In an interview following the migrant protest at the Portland Exposition Building in June, Snyder said that “[Portland] is not unique when it comes to the struggles that we’re facing with the number of people that are coming over the border.”
“What we’ve talked about with our congressional delegation is, let’s make sure that we have capacity for people before they’re sent here and they’re outside,” she said. “So, we are trying to be very responsible in terms of our consistent communication with both state leadership and federal leadership.”