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Mayor Adams initially faced backlash over his handling of the migrant influx crisis. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images.
Mayor Adams initially faced backlash over his handling of the migrant influx crisis. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images.

Mayor Eric Adams says migrant crisis could leave NYC with a $12 billion bill

In an address from City Hall on Wednesday, the New York City mayor put blame on the nation’s ‘broken’ immigration system.

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“The immigration system in this nation is broken; it has been broken for decades,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared in an address Wednesday from City Hall. “Today, New York City has been left to pick up the pieces.”

Adams also emphasized the importance that they receive state and federal aid after unveiling the new cost projections for the tens of thousands of migrants in New York City’s care.

“If we don’t get the support we need, New Yorkers could be left with a $12 billion bill,” he said in a formal address to the public from City Hall.

That’s the estimate by summer of 2025 should the number of migrant arrivals continue apace with current figures, Adams said. Administration officials had previously predicted the cost would reach over $4 billion by next summer. 

$4 billion annually for three years would take a large portion of the city’s budget that is currently $107 billion. The NYPD's annual budget this year is $5.8 billion.

"Over the last year, nearly 100,000 asylum seekers have arrived in our city looking for a new life. New York City has managed the problem largely by ourselves," Adams said in a statement. 

"This is a national crisis that's begged for a national response since day one," he added. "Despite our tireless effort, we're running out of resources."

Roughly 100,000 migrants have arrived in the Big Apple since the spring of 2022, the mayor said. Tens of thousands have since moved on from the city but with new arrivals, the number of those still in the city’s shelters and emergency housing facilities could increase to a whopping 100,000, Adams said.

“We are past our breaking point,” he said.

Even with steep projections, Adams vowed not to turn his back on those who need shelter. The city is legally required to provide beds and care in a timely manner under its unique “Right to Shelter” law.

Even with the law, pictures circulated around social media of migrant men sleeping for days on the sidewalk outside a Manhattan intake center. Those using cardboard boxes as beds have been limited to single adults, an administration official told POLITICO that families with children may also soon be without shelter due to lack of space. 

Over $140 million in federal funds have been allocated to New York City for the support of migrants. Officials with President Joe Biden’s administration told POLITICO that Adams and members of New York’s congressional delegation met two weeks ago in Washington with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

A DHS team is currently in the city to assess the crisis.

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