NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency on Friday in response to the thousands of Latin American migrants bused to the city in recent months from the U.S. southern border, straining the city’s homeless shelter system.
The city expects to spend $1 billion to manage the influx of asylum seekers, Adams said in a speech at City Hall. More than 17,000 have come to New York since April; an average of five or six buses have arrived each day since early September, with nine buses pulling into the city on Thursday, said Adams, a Democrat.
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The surge of arrivals has set a record for the number of people in shelters across the city.
“Although our compassion is limitless, our resources are not,” Adams said, calling on the federal and state governments to provide support. “We are at the edge of a precipice.”
The state of emergency will make it easier for city agencies to coordinate their response more quickly, Adams said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who is seeking a third term in November’s midterm elections, has bused more than 3,000 migrants to New York as part of a deliberate effort to call attention to record crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Adams has criticized Abbott for failing to alert city officials when sending migrants north.
“Thousands of asylum seekers have been bused into New York City and simply dropped off without notice, coordination or care,” Adams said on Friday, calling it a “manufactured crisis.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, recently flew a group of about 50 migrants to the wealthy enclave of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Those aboard the plane have said they were misled.
Democrats have accused Abbott and DeSantis of using vulnerable migrants as political props, while the Republicans have faulted President Joe Biden’s administration for failing to stem the tide at the border.
The Democratic-controlled city of El Paso has bused roughly 7,000 migrants to New York since late August, though city leaders say they are coordinating with New York officials, unlike Abbott.
Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, D.C., declared a state of emergency in that city last month, creating a new office to handle incoming migrants and calling on the federal government for financial assistance. (Reporting by Joseph Ax Editing by Alistair Bell)