After announcing major budget cuts to the city’s police force and Education Department last week, New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams blamed the federal government for leaving him with no choice but to strip money away from New Yorkers to deal with the illegal immigration crisis.
Adams’ $4 billion budget cuts will freeze police hiring, dropping the number of NYPD officers to below 30,000, and will slash the city’s Education Department budget by more than $1 billion over the next two years, affecting school programs and libraries. The mayor said Monday that the budget cuts are a direct result of the Biden administration’s inaction on the migrant crisis rocking New York, POLITICO reported.
“D.C. has abandoned us, and they need to be paying their cost to this national problem,” Adams said at a Brooklyn town hall.
“I tell people all the time when they stop me on the subway system, ‘Don’t yell at me, yell at D.C.,’” he added. “We deserve better as a city.”
The Big Apple has been inundated with illegal immigrants who were bused to the city after crossing the southern border over the past two years. More than 130,000 illegal immigrants have overwhelmed city shelters since last year, and the influx shows no signs of stopping. Adams warned last month that the surge is “not sustainable” as the city currently takes in up to 4,000 migrants a week, up from 2,400 people, according to Adams.
Along with cuts to police and education spending, city officials confirmed Monday that they would look to cut “asylum-seeker” expenses by 20%. The immigration crisis has come with a significant price tag for the city, which is projected to spend $12 billion providing food and shelter for illegal immigrants through the 2025 fiscal year, according to city officials. Adams has repeatedly clashed with the Biden administration on the issue, calling for the president and Homeland Security Secretary to do more to stop the flow of illegal immigration at the southern border and provide assistance to New York City.
“No city should be left to handle a national humanitarian crisis largely on its own, and without the significant and timely support we need from Washington, D.C. Today’s budget will be only the beginning,” Adams said when announcing the budget cuts last week.
The mayor has met with Biden administration officials multiple times to discuss the ongoing border crisis and its impact on New York City, but the talks have so far failed to move the federal government to take any significant steps on the issue.
Last month, Adams was en route to D.C. to meet with the Biden administration once more, but he canceled his plans after being informed that the FBI was investigating his campaign. Days later, Adams’ cell phones were confiscated by federal agents amid the probe into allegations that the mayor’s 2021 campaign conspired with the Turkish government.