EL PASO, Texas (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams made his first visit to El Paso, Texas, over the weekend, and from the moment he landed he said the crisis was clear.
"I saw in the airport those who were preparing to fly to other locations -- it showed the seriousness of the moment," Adams said.
Adams described migrants sleeping on the streets with shelters in the city overflowing -- a situation that mirrors New York City.
More than 40,000 migrants have arrived in the city since last April, overwhelming the shelters and forcing the mayor to declare a state emergency last year.
He says he's asked the federal government for $2 billion to help with the migrant influx, but the state will get far less from a federal grant.
"The federal government should pick up the entire cause," Adams said. "What El Paso is going through, and all the other municipalities. We need a real leadership moment from FEMA. This is a national crisis. FEMA deal with national crisis."
Adams said the bottleneck at the Southern border creates a growing desperation among asylum seekers.
"We're going to fight so that you can experience the American dream," he said.
That was his promise to a group of migrants gathered outside a church as El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser showed him around.
Adams says that the resources required to make that promise a reality are simply not coming in quickly enough to keep up with the flood of migrants that make a beeline to New York.
This is despite the number of asylum seekers coming to El Paso waning as the Supreme Court weighs Title 42.
Mayor Adams says he will be in D.C. this week speaking to the America Conference of Mayors -- many who are also grappling with a migrant surge. He is raising the issue to them on how they can develop a coordinated effort.
"What we want to do is really coordinate all of our mayors, for us to come together with a unified voice," Adams said. "This crisis has mayors pitted against each other and that can't happen. No municipality should go through this and so we're not going to pit against each other, we're going to unite with one voice."
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