NEW YORK (WABC) – Over the weekend, New York City sent a request for emergency mutual aid to New York State to provide shelter to asylum seekers.

Mayor Eric Adams made the request Friday as 3,100 asylum seekers arrived in the city in the past week, including 835 last Thursday alone.

It was the largest single-day arrival since the migrant influx began, and Adams says it is pushing New York to its limits.

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

“Since last spring, the city has begun hosting approximately 40,000 asylum seekers, providing them with shelter, food and connections to a variety of resources,” Adams said. “We opened 74 emergency shelters and four humanitarian aid centers at breakneck speed, and we did it almost entirely on our own.”

But now Adams says the city is at a tipping point. He announced Friday that he will make several stops along the southern Mexican border this weekend.

“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 mayor said that the lack of “much-needed federal immigration reform should not mean that this humanitarian crisis rests solely on the shoulders of cities.”

Adams said support and help from federal and state partners is needed.

The Legal Aid Society and the Homeless Coalition released a joint statement confirming that the city is required by law to provide a bed to anyone in need of shelter.

“Regardless of the circumstances, these are responsibilities that no mayor can shirk from,” the statement said. “However, Washington and Albany have so far provided only minimal financial assistance to the city to meet this moment, and all levels of government must do their part to ensure that legal obligations are met and that all people in need, including individuals, who are seeking asylum. provided access to safe, dignified and affordable shelter.”

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 by 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 received only about $10 million in federal money, and the city’s proposed 2024 budget does not include money for the influx of migrants because the mayor is dependent on other avenues.

“I really think it’s irresponsible that we haven’t had a real national response to what’s happening on our border,” Adams said.

The governor’s administration did not immediately respond. As for increased federal aid, Sen. Charles Schumer is considering the mayor’s appeal for federal aid.

“I think seeing it firsthand on the southern border will really give him a different perspective,” said Murad Awadeh of the New York Immigration Coalition.

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


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