Asylum seekers have stretched New York City to its limits, says Mayor Eric Adams, who described an "unprecedented state of emergency" he called on New York state and federal lawmakers and agencies to offer more support, Vox reports. Adams’s office estimated that the city would spend $12 billion over three fiscal years to shelter and support the tens of thousands of migrants projected to arrive over that period. A number of circumstances have converged to push people to New York City, including the end of Title 42, the health directive originally put in place under the Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as efforts by Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas to send people who have crossed the southern border to states.
Still, many came of their own volition; New York City has a right to shelter directive, which means the city has an obligation to shelter those who request it. However, a long-standing affordable housing crisis has also helped push the city’s shelter system to the brink, overwhelming facilities to the point that asylum seekers are already sleeping in the streets outside of shelters. As Adams called on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Congress to provide more funding to care for asylum seekers and institute comprehensive immigration reform, Adams’s administration is seeking to amend the rules of the right to shelter decree, which would give City Hall the ability to suspend the right to shelter in some situations. Though Adams called Hochul and the state government a “partner” it’s not clear exactly how closely the two governments are working together, given a court order seemingly designed to force the two parties to make a cooperative plan to manage the situation.