Federal funds approved for cities handling influx of asylum seekers

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Congress approves funds for cities handling influx of migrants
There is some good news for U.S. cities which have been absorbing the influx of migrants from the southern U.S. border. Janice Yu reports.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- There is some good news for U.S. cities which have been absorbing the influx of migrants from the southern U.S. border.

Federal lawmakers have negotiated $800 million to give out as grants to those cities.

Sources say New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has already discussed with FEMA the allocation of a substantial amount of that money for NYC.

In an interview with Eyewitness News anchor Bill Ritter, Mayor Eric Adams said the city expects to spend about $1 billion through June or July on things including housing, education and food for the migrants.

Adams says services for New Yorkers could be cut if there isn't help from the state or government.

"It's unfair for me to go to long-term New Yorkers and say, 'The housing you were looking for, the education you need for your children, the basic subsidies you needed, we are going to now have to cut back on those services,'" said Adams. "That is just unfair to the states and cities in America."

Several buses have arrived at the Port Authority in Midtown Manhattan so far this week and more are expected.

Migrants along the U.S. border with Mexico sought shelter from the cold early Wednesday as restrictions that prevented many from seeking asylum in the U.S. remained in place beyond their anticipated end.

And in New York City officials continue to plan for a possible massive influx of asylum seekers if and when the restrictions are lifted.

The U.S. government asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday not to lift the limits before Christmas, in a filing a day after Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary order to keep the pandemic-era restrictions in place.

Before Roberts issued that order, they had been slated to expire Wednesday.

Now all eyes are on the Supreme Court. A decision on whether to keep the Title 42 restrictions in place could come at any time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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