New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated in a media briefing on Tuesday, December 26th, that many improvements have occurred in the city since he took office, noting that when he took office two years ago, the city was grappling with an increase in the crime rate and an economy struggling under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Adams said, “I say it over and over again, crime is down, jobs are up. We recovered more private sector jobs in the history of the city. We managed the financial and fiscal crises and cliffs that we were facing.”
According to Adams, the city has recorded an 11% decrease in homicides, a 25% reduction in shootings, and the removal of 13,000 guns from the streets.
However, the mayor added that when things started to look better, the city was “hit with a typhoon called the migrant and asylum seekers.”
Since the Spring 2022, New York City has experienced an influx of over 160,000 migrants.
Currently, approximately 68,000 of these migrants are being accommodated in various hotels and makeshift shelters under the city’s care.
This unprecedented surge of migrants has led the city to spend more than $1 billion on providing these individuals with housing, education, and other basic necessities.
The influx has also resulted in intense budget shortfalls, with the city now requiring approximately $12 billion to manage this crisis over the next three fiscal years.
Despite these challenges, Mayor Adams emphasized that the city has successfully managed to take care of 99% of the migrants, which he labeled as a “darned good stat.”
The mayor also criticized the federal government for its lack of financial aid or emergency powers to assist the city in this crisis.
He said, “Instead, 10 trips to Washington, D.C. asking and pleading for help. We did not get that help, but we still did the job anyway, and had walked away with real victories.”
Mayor Adams also noted that the migrant crisis is a federal government issue since they are responsible for the border, but it has somehow also become the city’s responsibility.
He stated, “The federal government said to New York City, we’re not going to do our job, you do our job.”
In response to inquiries about the number of asylum seekers applying for asylum, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and work authorization, Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom provided detailed statistics.
She reported that out of the 161,000 migrants that have arrived in New York City since the beginning of the migrant crisis in Spring 2022, a total of 23,537 applications have been filed, comprising 8,000 asylum applications, 9,400 work authorization applications, and 6,100 TPS applications.
Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom confirmed that only approximately 2,200 individuals have successfully received their work authorization approvals.
Furthermore, she disclosed that all single adult migrants have been transitioned out of hotels across the city.
Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom stated, “The only time you would have a single person in a hotel would be if there’s a reasonable accommodation that they need.”
Later on Tuesday, an unprecedented 14 charter buses of migrants arrived at New York City’s Port Authority.