New York City declares emergency over migrant influx
New York, Oct 7 (EFE).- New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency Friday in the face of an influx of immigrants and people seeking asylum in the United States, including thousands of foreign nationals bussed to the Big Apple from Texas by Gov. Greg Abbott.
“We expect to spend at least $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year on this crisis,” he said.
“New Yorkers are angry. I am angry too. We have not asked for this. There was never any agreement to take on the job of supporting thousands of asylum seekers. This responsibility was simply handed to us without warning as buses began showing up,” the mayor said.
Abbott, a Republican running for re-election in November, started bussing migrants to Washington in April to dramatize his complaint that Democratic President Joe Biden is not doing enough to help Texas manage what the governor calls a crisis on the Mexican border.
Texas subsequently expanded the program to include dispatching migrants to New York and Chicago, both liberal Democratic strongholds.
“More than 17,000 asylum-seekers, mostly from South America, have been bused directly to New York City from our southern border since April of this year. Many of these asylum seekers don’t know where they are going or what awaits them at the end of the line,” Adams said.
The Abbott administration has ignored pleas from the mayor to at least alert authorities in New York that buses are en route.
An average of five or six buses a day have been arriving since early last month, according to Adams, and Thursday saw nine busloads of migrants deposited in the city.
“This is a humanitarian crisis that started with violence and instability in South America, and it is being accelerated by American political dynamics,” the mayor said. “Thousands of asylum seekers have been bused into New York City and simply dropped off without notice, coordination or care, and more are arriving every day.”
Under New York state’s “right to shelter” law, the city is required to provide emergency shelter to every homeless person who qualifies.
“Our shelter system is now operating near 100 percent capacity and if these trends continue, we will be over 100,000 in the year to come. That’s far more than the system was ever designed to handle. This is unsustainable,” Adams said.
Nearly 20,000 of the more than 61,000 people currently being accommodated in shelters are children and one in five is an asylum-seeker.
The mayor said that the city is doing all it can to provide lodging for those who need it.
Authorities are now in the process of creating a tent city on Randall’s Island, just off Manhattan, to house arriving migrants on a temporary basis.
“So today we’re issuing a clear message. The time for aid to New York is now. We need help from the federal government, help from the state of New York,” Adams said.
Hours after the mayor’s announcement, Abbott vowed to maintain the bussing initiative.
“Sanctuary cities like New York City experience a FRACTION of what Texas border communities face every day,” he said on Twitter. “We’ll continue busing migrants to NYC, (Washington) DC, & Chicago to relieve our overwhelmed border towns until Biden does his job to secure the border.” EFE