Mayors Eric Adams of New York City, Brandon Johnson of Chicago, Karen Bass of Los Angeles, Mike Johnston of Denver, and Sylvester Turner of Houston wrote Biden on October 28 asking for additional federal funding and expedited approval for illegal migrants to begin working in their cities.
The mayors began the letter, first obtained by the Associated Press, by thanking Biden for previously allocated $1.4 billion in funds for food and shelter and by approving work authorization for illegal migrants from Venezuela.
“While these courageous actions represent critical first steps, we believe additional action is needed and believe as the Mayors leading many of our most affected cities we can be helpful partners in identifying solutions. To address this crisis without further delay, we are requesting an urgent meeting with you to directly discuss ways we can work with your administration to avoid large numbers of additional asylum seekers being brought to our cities with little to no coordination, support, or resources,” the mayors wrote.
Busloads of migrants who illegally crossed into Texas have been sent by Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) to New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, places that have branded themselves as “sanctuary cities.” The influx has cost the cities hundreds of millions of dollars, and municipal officials have struggled to find places for the migrants to stay.
“Cities have historically absorbed and integrated new migrants with success, but the challenges brought by the new border arrivals are due not only to the high numbers but also the diversity of nationalities, the large share arriving as families, and the overwhelming number who seek asylum,” the letter said. “Given the impact this crisis has had — and continues to have — on state and local budgets we respectfully advocate for additional funding.”
The Democrats said they wanted an additional $5 billion in federal funding to help manage the crisis.
They also asked Biden to ease work authorization requirements and speed up the adjudication for those claiming asylum in the U.S.
While the mayors did not ask for more security at the border, they requested Biden “adopt a collaborative federal approach around coordinated entry” into the country.
“The federal government and nonprofit partners — not the governors of the states at which recent migrants arrive — must coordinate the geographic movements of recent arrivals,” the mayors wrote.
Border crossings have surged under Biden, with millions of foreign nationals unlawfully entering the U.S. from all over the world.