Mayor Says Immigration Crisis to Cost NYC $12 Billion Over 3 Years

Dorothy Li
By Dorothy Li
August 10, 2023New York

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday the ongoing immigration crisis could cost the city $12 billion over three years if things don’t change, reiterating the call for more federal aid.

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

“This is a national crisis that’s begged for a national response since day one,” he continued. “Despite our tireless effort, we’re running out of resources.”

There are more than 57,300 illegal immigrants currently in the city’s care. The average cost of each household is $383 per night for shelter, food, medical care, and social services. That amounts to $9.8 million per day and $300 million per month.

“But this is the floor, not the ceiling. This is only an estimate if the number of migrants in our care stays the same over time,” the mayor told reporters at Wednesday’s press conference.

The mayor said they are finding every way to reduce costs.

“It could be something simple as the meal. If we could save, you know, one of two dollars on the meals. If we could save on the laundries, because, you know, all those sheets have to be cleaned. If we could save on napkins,” he said. “We’re looking everywhere to see how we can bring down the costs of the asylum seekers.”

However, without “policy changes,” New York City will continue to brace for newcomers, Mr. Admas said, warning its residents could face a $4.7 billion bill for immigrants this fiscal year.

Over the next three fiscal years, the costs are expected to reach $12 billion.

“Our compassion may be limitless, but our resources are not,” he said. “This is the budgetary reality we are facing if we don’t get the additional support we need.”

“New Yorkers did not create an international humanitarian crisis. But our city’s residents have been left to deal with this crisis almost entirely on our own,” he said.

New York City’s shelter system has already been overwhelmed. City officials have worked to house illegal immigrants in churches and private homes and asked the courts to relieve them providing shelter to all who seek it. With the number continuing to grow by hundreds daily, city leaders announced earlier this week that they’re opening a new shelter on Randall’s Island that could house up to 2,000 people.

illegal immigrants
Hundreds of illegal immigrants seeking asylum line for Immigration Customs Enforcement appointments outside of the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in New York on June 6, 2023. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Explosion of Illegal Immigration

Mr. Adams said he is asking the Biden administration to declare a state of emergency.

“This will allow federal funds to be allocated quickly to help address the urgent challenges we face,” he said. “Federal government needs to provide more funding to match the reality of the course on the ground.”

Mr. Adams’ plea for help came as a number of Democratic leaders were pressing the Biden administration for intervention as the influx of immigrants hit their states.

The latest governor to call for federal aid is Maura Healey of Massachusetts, who declared a state of emergency on Aug. 8.

Ms. Healey said that the state’s shelter system is nearing a breaking point due to “rapidly rising numbers” of immigrants, even after the creation of new emergency sites at places like Joint Base Cape Cod to try to handle the increase.

“Demand has increased to levels that our emergency shelter system cannot keep up with, especially as the number of families leaving shelter has dwindled due to a lack of affordable housing options and barriers to securing work,” Ms. Healey, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Out of more than 5,500 families currently in the state’s shelters, “many” are recent arrivals to Massachusetts, officials said. Another over 1,800 families are living in hotels or motels.

The state has spent over $45 million per month to assist shelter immigrants, but it is still falling short, Ms. Healey wrote in a letter addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Under the state’s “right-to-shelter” law, Massachusetts has to provide shelter to homeless people.

The Healey administration is asking its residents to open their doors to help house immigrants.

“Most importantly, if you have an extra room or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family. Housing and shelter is our most pressing need and become a sponsor family,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll.

With a governor from his party joining the call, Mr. Adams said the federal government must act.

“I agree with Massachusetts Governor Healey, the federal government must take action,” he said.

Agents at the U.S.-Mexico border made two million arrests of illegal immigrants in 2021, President Joe Biden’s first year in office. That set a new record, which was broken by the 2.3 million arrests recorded in 2022.

The immigrants cross into California, Arizona, and Texas, but regularly travel or are transported to states far into the interior after entering the country.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times