Mayor Eric Adams says that the large influx of asylum seekers from the Southern border "will destroy" New York City and that he did not see a way to fix the issue. “Let me tell you something New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to — I don’t see an ending to this,” he said. Adams has clashed with leading members of his Democratic party as New York City has struggled to provide housing and services to the migrants, the New York Times reports. For months, Adams has criticized President Biden and Gov. Kathy Hochul for failing to help the city handle the asylum seekers and pleaded for additional funding and expedited work permits. Adams pointed to new projections that the city’s budget gap could grow to nearly $12 billion — the same amount that city officials estimate that the migrants could cost the city over three years.
“Every community in this city is going to be impacted,” Adams said at a Wednesday meeting. “We have a $12 billion deficit that we’re going to have to cut — every service in this city is going to be impacted. All of us.”
The surge of migrants crossing the southern border has overwhelmed the city, with nearly 60,000 occupying beds in traditional city shelters and in more than 200 emergency sites. As New York City students returned to school on Thursday, city officials said that about 20,000 migrant children were expected to join them.
The financial and logistical burden has caused the mayor repeatedly to press Biden for help this summer, saying that the city’s requests were still mostly “unaddressed” and calling for a federal emergency and a national “decompression strategy at the border.” Republican leaders, some of whom have sent buses of migrants to New York, have increasingly used Adams' criticism of Biden as a talking point ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Immigrant advocacy groups and some Democrats have called the mayor’s rhetoric racist.