Days after declaring the migrant crisis would destroy New York City, Mayor Eric Adams has taken a decisive step, calling upon city agencies to forward proposals for a 5% annual budget reduction by November and an accumulative 15% slash by April next year.
The mayor’s decision comes as the city struggles to cope with the financial burden of assimilating approximately 110,000 asylum seekers.
However, the mayor’s office assured the residents that despite the looming cuts, there would be “no layoffs.”
In a video message released on Saturday, September 9th, Mayor Adams said the city estimates the influx of asylum seekers will cost $12 billion over three fiscal years. Adams said, “While our compassion is limitless, our resources are not.”
He continued, “For the better part of a year now, I have been clear that these costs will impact every city service…The simple truth is longtime New Yorkers and asylum seekers will feel these potential cuts, and they will hurt.”
The mayor asserts that the cuts directly stem from what he calls “inaction” by federal and state legislators.
Adams said, “New Yorkers are angry and frustrated, and they’re right to be. I am too. These tough decisions are a direct result of inactions in Washington and in Albany.”
Since last spring, the city has allocated close to $1.5 billion for the accommodation and support of asylum seekers
In a statement, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams emphasized that New York City shouldn’t be left to address the crisis alone.
City Comptroller Brad Lander has indicated his office will examine the suggested budget reductions, noting, “Scapegoating asylum seekers will not improve education, public safety, housing affordability or quality of life for New Yorkers.”
This crisis isn’t unique to New York. Numerous major cities in the United States are grappling with a deluge of new asylum seekers, which has strained shelters, social services, and budgets.
In New York City, where legal obligations ensure housing for those in need, the Adams administration projects a monthly influx of 10,000 asylum seekers, leading to potential multi-billion dollar expenses in the coming years.
Sanctuary cities, predominantly governed by Democrats, have voiced concerns for over a year regarding the continuous arrival of buses carrying immigrants, in many cases dispatched by Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas.
The Biden administration is seeking $4 billion in emergency funds for border and migration oversight. However, it remains to be seen if Congress will agree to this proposal. Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy contemplates linking future U.S. assistance for Ukraine with immigration and asylum strategies that Democrats have resisted.