New York: New York Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency over the city’s migrant crisis, saying that the recent arrivals of more than 17,000 asylum-seekers from Central America and South America are straining the city’s resources.
As part of the order, Adams directed all relevant agencies to construct humanitarian relief centers to provide assistance.
The city will spend more than $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year on the crisis, Adams said at a news briefing Friday. He called for support from state and federal authorities, saying the crisis is “burning through our city’s budget.”
New York and other cities are straining under an influx of hundreds of migrants sent primarily by Republican governors from border states. The city has been working to provide shelter and other services to the migrants, many of whom fled violence in Venezuela and other Latin American countries.
Adams called the crisis a situation that was “manufactured” by leaders in other states who are exploiting the city’s right-to-shelter mandate. Under a legal settlement from the 1980s, New York is required to provide housing for anyone who needs it.
The crisis is worsening an already-fragile shelter system, which is operating at near 100% capacity, Adams said. Around 61,000 people were in the system on Thursday night, and 1 in 5 was an asylum-seeker.
“Every day the total number gets higher, every day from this point forward we are setting a new record,” said Adams.
The city has previously opened 42 additional temporary shelters in hotels. Adams promised that the city would also accelerate moving New Yorkers in the shelter system into long-term housing in order to free up beds and space for newer arrivals.
A previously planned triage center will open on Randall’s Island in the coming weeks. The center’s location was moved from its planned location of Orchard Beach in the Bronx, after rainfall caused the parking lot to flood.
The city has estimated that asylum-seekers will stay at the center for up to 96 hours, though they may stay for longer. The shelter system will still be available to them, pursuant to the right-to-shelter mandate.