“Our compassion is limitless, but our Resources are not,” said Mayor about the 17,000 Migrants
By Yehudit Garmaise
“My fellow New Yorkers, we are in a crisis situation,” Mayor Eric Adams said before declaring a state of emergency about NYC’s shelter system, which has reached its limits, while Gov. Greg Abbott continues to send several busloads of South American migrants to the city daily.
Since April, 17,000 asylum seekers have been dropped off at the Port Authority, where they are then led to join the 44,000 New Yorkers experiencing homelessness who live in the city’s shelters, which the mayor said, “are operating at 100% capacity.”
If Gov. Abbott and other Texas elected officials continue to bus migrants to NYC, in just months, the population of the city’s public shelter system will exceed 100,000.
“That's far more than the system was ever designed to handle,” said Mayor Adams, who revealed that the city has already spent $1 billion on the influx of migrants. “This is unsustainable. Our compassion is limitless, our resources are not.
“The city is going to run out of funding for other priorities.”
New York City, which has been putting migrants up in emergency hotels, “is doing all it can,” the mayor said, “but we are reaching the outer limit of our ability to help.”
Struggling to accommodate 61,000 homeless New Yorkers, a population that is growing every day “is not sustainable, and it is not right,” said the mayor after issuing an executive order that directed the city’s agencies to work together to construct humanitarian relief centers.
Since April, NYC has been providing the migrants extensive health services, enrolled more than 5,500 children in school, provided legal information, Fair Fares transit support, and IDNYC enrollment.
As the holiday season begins, and hotels want to open up rooms for tourists, Mayor Adams has looked to other housing options for the migrants.
“We’re doing everything we can,” said the mayor, who called on El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser to stop sending buses of migrants to NYC. “We've started a faith-based effort to get our houses of worship to adopt a shelter, help community organization arrange travel for people to their destinations of choice, and we're engaging the private sector to get clothing and supplies to asylum seekers and New Yorkers in need, but it's still not enough.
“In the next few weeks, we'll be opening a large humanitarian emergency response and relief center on Randall's Island that will safely house hundreds of people who have found themselves in New York City at their long journey from our southern border.
“I will be there to welcome them and to stay with them to hear their stories. But unless we take immediate action, that center will be full in days, and we will have to open another and another and another even as winter weather arrives.
“New York should be proud of what we are doing and what we have accomplished,” said the mayor, who has also considered housing as many as 27,000 migrants on a Carnival Cruise Line, with which he is in talks, the New York Times reported.
In particular, the mayor asked state and federal legislators to pass legislation that will “allow asylum seekers to work legally, deliver meaningful immigration reform, and to provide emergency financial relief.”
Mayor Adams also will be asking President Joe Biden to present “a realistic decompression strategy that should be handled the U.S.’s southern borders,” which are deluged with daily streams of incoming migrants. “When they come in, migrants should be able to go to the destinations they desire, and not just sent to NYC, Washington, DC, and Chicago.
“Then, we need to ensure that the entire country absorbs this mass influx of asylum seekers, so that we are not leaning on just three cities.”