New York mayor declares state of emergency over migrant busses: ‘A humanitarian crisis’

“There was never any agreement to take on the job of supporting thousands of asylum seekers. This responsibility was simply handed to us without warning,” the mayor said on Friday

Andrew Feinberg
Friday 07 October 2022 17:26 BST
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New York City Mayor Eric Adams has declared a state of emergency over the influx of asylum seekers being sent to the city on waves of busses by Republican governors.

Speaking from City Hall on Friday, Mr Adams said New York is “in a crisis situation” due to the “more than 61,000 people” now overloading the city-run shelter system.

“This is a humanitarian crisis that started with violence and instability in South America. It is being accelerated by American political dynamics,” he said. “Thousands of asylum seekers have been bused into New York City and simply dropped off without notice or coordination of care, and more are arriving every day.”

The mayor said that the city is preparing to spend $1 billion on its response to the crisis. He’s requested federal and state funding to help the city pay for housing and services “now.”

The New York mayor said 20,000 of the current shelter residents are children and a full fifth of them are asylum seekers.

Mr. Adams added that there have been roughly 17,000 migrants who have arrived in New York City since April and that “at least nine more buses arrived” on Thursday.

“There was never any agreement to take on the job of supporting thousands of asylum seekers. This responsibility was simply handed to us without warning,” Mr Adams continued.

He explained how the city has set up 42 emergency shelters and enrolled 5,500 children in schools, but more help is needed; declaring a state of emergency and issuing an executive order, he says, is necessary to allow city officials to provide resources more quickly.

“This executive order will formally direct all relevant agencies to coordinate their efforts to construct the humanitarian relief centers while also suspending certain land use requirements to expedite this process,” he said.

Mr Adams’ address comes just days after he ordered the construction of a massive tent city after criticism from rights groups who say the plan runs afoul of a right-to-shelter mandate. The plan also faced hurdles after torrential rains flooded the area that was set to house the tents.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in response to the Biden administration’s immigration policies, said in a press release last month that his state has “bused over 8,000 migrants” to Washington DC since April and “over 2,500 migrants to New York City since August 5.”

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