NEW YORK (WABC) – New York City Mayor Eric Adams is in El Paso, Texas, learning firsthand about the migrant crisis.

Although the southern border is thousands of miles from New York, the crisis has had a direct impact on the city over the past couple of months.

On Saturday, Adams met with the mayor of El Paso and toured an area where asylum seekers are known to cross the border.

Adams is expected to make several stops in El Paso on Sunday while meeting with local officials. His trip will conclude with a tour of US Customs and Border Protection and a stop at the US border.

The mayor said the city is at a turning point.

“Last week we got 3,000. One day we got 800. The strain on our infrastructure is just huge,” Adams said. It was the largest single-day arrival since the influx of migrants began.

Adams said it could cost the city between $1.5 billion and $2 billion to provide services to asylum seekers.

His latest appeal to help asylum seekers was to state and federal governments for emergency mutual aid.

“Based on our projections, we believe we will not be able to continue sheltering asylum seekers and have submitted an emergency mutual aid request to New York State beginning this weekend,” Adams said. “This type of request, intended only for severe emergencies, asks the state to support asylum seekers as the city faces an immediate need for additional capacity. Our initial request is to shelter 500 asylum seekers, but as New York City continues to see an explosion in numbers, that estimate will also increase.”

The governor’s office also released a statement that said in part, “It will continue to work with the mayor and review his request,” but said “the federal government must do more to help with the crisis.”

The mayor says it will cost billions to provide services to asylum seekers, and his budget for the next fiscal year does not include city resources for them, despite housing thousands of asylum seekers last summer.

Jeff Goldfein, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society, said if asylum seekers were allowed to work, it would change the dynamic.

“The federal government could solve this program overnight, giving people work permits,” Goldfein said.

That change doesn’t seem likely, but the federal government has approved $800 million in grants to cities that host migrants. So far, New York has only received about $10 million in federal money.

Adams plans to continue the conversation about the crisis and the need for help when he returns from Texas on Sunday.

READ ALSO | Workers at a Midtown migrant hotel talk to Eyewitness News about safety and health concerns

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