Adams says NYC migrant crisis will cost city $12 billion
The city is expected to spend around $5 billion on migrants this fiscal year alone, equaling the annual budget of the Fire, Parks, and Sanitation Departments combined
August 9, 2023 11:20pm
Updated: August 9, 2023 11:20pm
New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday said that the migrant crisis is expected to cost the city around $12 billion over the next three years to house and care for the newcomers.
The city is expected to spend around $5 billion on migrants this fiscal year alone, equaling the annual budget of the Fire, Parks, and Sanitation Departments combined, Adams said.
“The immigration system in this nation is broken; it has been broken for decades,” Adams said, declaring: “Today, New York City has been left to pick up the pieces.”
Around 96,000 undocumented migrants have arrived in New York City from the U.S.-Mexico border since April 2022. The city is welcoming an average of 300 to 500 migrants a day, with more expected to arrive this week.
Currently, there are around 57,000 migrants staying in the city’s shelters, in addition to 50,000 homeless individuals, according to the deputy mayor for health and human services, Anne Williams-Isom.
The city has attempted to cope with the influx of migrants by housing new arrivals in tents, cruise ship terminals, old jail facilities, and school gyms, among others. However, the efforts have not been enough to handle the large number of arrivals. Last week, hundreds of migrants began sleeping in Manhattan’s streets after the city’s more than 200 emergency shelters ran out of room.
“The city is running out of money, appropriate space, and personnel to care for families,” Adams said.
By 2025, the city could have more than 100,000 migrants in its homeless shelters, almost twice the numbers that are currently housed in the city.
“We need additional resources now,” the mayor said, adding that the city was running out of “money, appropriate space, and personnel” to properly care for the migrants.
On Wednesday, the mayor also made a plea for federal help as the costs of the migrant crisis continue to spiral out of control. Adams asked the federal government to declare a state of emergency, provide emergency aid, and create a “decompression” strategy that would slow the flow of migrants coming to the city.
“If we don’t get the support we need, New Yorkers could be left with a $12 billion bill,” Adams said in a speech from City Hall. “While New York City will continue to lead, it’s time the state and federal government step up.”
So far, the federal government has said that it will cover a fraction of the costs associated with the migrant crisis—around $140 million. However, the city has still “not received a dollar” yet, claimed the director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, Jacques Jiha.