Mayor Eric Adams defended New York City’s migrant services on Tuesday, January 2nd, amidst a continuous influx of illegal asylum-seeking migrants. He stated that the city’s “sanctuary” status has hindered his administration’s efforts to address the crisis.
Mayor Adams, in an interview with Fox 5 New York, warned that if the migrants continue to arrive in the city, people will soon be sleeping on the streets.
Adams stated, “We were not just saying we’re out of room as a soundbite. We’re out of room. Literally, people are going to be eventually sleeping on the streets.”
He pointed out that the current use of the city’s “right to shelter” mandate, a policy established decades ago, is not aligned with its original intention.
Adams said, “We cannot by law tell someone if they come into the city that they can’t come into the city. We can’t even turn them over to ICE. The law states that we cannot notify ICE.”
The city has witnessed over 164,000 asylum-seeking migrants arriving in the city since Spring 2022.
Governor Kathy Hochul also expressed her concern, describing the situation as “untenable and unsustainable.”
Hochul remarked, “Once an individual enters the United States, they have an opportunity to say where they want to go. It’s not my rules. The rules are implemented. Now why they don’t want to stay in New Jersey? It’s a lovely state. Maybe they would find a nice job in New Jersey. But I believe they’re coming to New York because of the right to shelter.”
The governor added, “I support the mayor’s effort to try to get control of the situation to the largest migration of humanity since World War II, and we are the number one destination. We do not have the ability to house the entire world.”
Adams defended the provision of amenities like hotel rooms, food, clothing, cellphones, and health insurance to migrants, noting the unprecedented nature of this migration.
He said, “We are being inundated and we have now moved to another phase of saying all of those services that you’re talking about…we got the food, shelter, clothing. That’s it. Because this is a national problem. It’s unfair for local municipalities and cities to handle this problem.”
As part of the response, Adams issued an executive order requiring charter bus companies transporting migrants to notify the city’s Emergency Management Office 32 hours before arrival.
The order also sets specific drop-off hours and locations to effectively manage the situation. Adams warned that failure to comply with these regulations could result in criminal charges and other penalties.
The city currently cares for over 68,000 migrants, with the crisis projected to cost over $12 billion by 2025.