MIDTOWN (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams says that without major policy changes and additional support from the state and federal governments, caring for asylum seekers may cost the city over $12 billion over three fiscal years.
The mayor announced the updated economic forecast as the city nears the arrival of 100,000 asylum seekers since spring 2022. There are currently over 57,300 asylum seekers in New York City's care.
Last week alone, more than 2,900 new asylum seekers entered the city's shelter system. So far, the city has opened nearly 200 emergency sites.
"The city is running out of money, appropriate space, and personnel," to care for migrant families the mayor said as he delivered remarks about the new estimated costs.
The Department of Homeland security sent a team to New York City to access the issue. They were on the ground at the Roosevelt Hotel on Wednesday, where another bus arrived in the evening. They are determining what the agency's role will be in helping the city.
The mayor also called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency so that federal funds can be used to fund the city's requests.
He also asked the federal government to "lead a decompression strategy at the border" so other cities and states across the country can help struggling cities.
The mayor's announcement came as five more buses with migrants arrived at Port Authority. Upon arrival, the migrants are handed flyers with walking directions to the Roosevelt Hotel and from there, they are bused to other shelters.
He said it costs the city $383 a night per migrant family that the city cares for. It's projected that the city will spend $3.6 billion a year, but that's only at the current rate.
"This is the floor, not the ceiling," Mayor Adams said. "It's only an estimate."
Over the next three years, the mayor says the city will spend $12 billion to care for incoming migrants. Adams says the city needs to add $7 billion to the city's financial plan. That's needed on top of what the city has already budgeted.
Adams has been pleading with the Biden Administration to allow asylum seekers to work. Otherwise, he says the price tag on this crisis will cripple the city.
The city is asking the state to:
- Implementing a statewide decompression strategy to ensure each county is doing its part to assist with this humanitarian crisis,
- Increasing the number of state-run and state-provided sites, and
- Providing additional funding to help the city with the costs already incurred by the crisis.
The city is asking the federal government to:
- Expediting work authorizations for asylum seekers so they can more expeditiously secure employment,
- Declaring a state of emergency to manage the crisis at the border,
- Providing more federal reimbursement for costs incurred by the city, and
- Implementing a federal decompression strategy to ensure the flow of asylum seeker arrivals is more fairly distributed.
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