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New York City Mayor Eric Adams appeared overwhelmed during a press conference on Monday when he called on U.S. officials to control the national borders and curb the influx of over 90,000 illegal immigrants occupying the Big Apple.
“Eventually, this is going to come to a neighborhood near you,” Adams told reporters.
The warning from Adams comes after touting on the campaign trail that he would keep New York City a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants rife with social benefits. After becoming the city’s top official, more than 93,000 migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. have arrived in the metropolitan area under Adams since April last year, according to the mayor’s office. Roughly half of those are still waiting for housing on the city’s dime, causing homeless shelters citywide to burst at the seams.
Combined with the city’s large homeless population, the city is now sheltering a record 105,800 people.
“We need to control the border,” he said. “We need to call a state of emergency, and we need to properly fund this national crisis.”
NYC MAYOR ADAMS ON MIGRANTS: “Eventually this is going to come to a neighborhood near you. […] We need to control the border. We need to call a state of emergency and we need to properly fund this national crisis.” pic.twitter.com/ij4bFjhyol
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 1, 2023
City officials have already poured $1.2 billion into helping the migrants last summer. According to Adams, the city has received about $30 million in federal aid so far. By next summer, he estimated the cost to fund the crisis could reach up to $4.2 billion.
New York City applied for $350 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to house and care for thousands of illegal immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. However, the Biden administration informed the Big Apple that it would send the city $30 million, POLITICO reported.
“We need help,” he added. “And it’s not going to get any better. From this moment on, it’s downhill.”
But despite the massive funding, New Yorkers have seen tens of thousands of asylum seekers forced to sleep on Manhattan sidewalks outside of fully booked hotels receiving city payouts for its migrant intake center status.
“We have to localize this madness,” Adams said. “We have to figure out a way of how we don’t have what’s in other municipalities, where you have tent cities all over the city.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas met with Adams last week, saying he would send an official to help with the migrant surge, which the mayor called embedding a liaison between the two administrations “a good start.”
But as the crisis rises in the city, Councilman Bob Holden (D-Queens) called the gesture “a kick in the head” and compared Adams to the one-term 1970s Republican President Gerald Ford, according to the New York Post.
“He’s essentially saying what Gerald Ford said to the city – ‘Drop dead,” Holden said.
Other Democrat-run major cities are also dealing with a flood of migrants as southern border states get fed up with dealing with the illegal immigration crisis on their own.
From Texas alone, Washington, D.C., has taken in 9,700 migrants, Chicago has received 2,300 migrants, and Philadelphia has received 1,500 migrants. Smaller cities are also starting to see migrants arriving. Denver has seen more than 160 migrants arrive since May.
Mairead Elordi contributed to this report.