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A group of New York Democrats are calling for a tax hike on the wealthy to help pay for New York’s migrant crisis.
The group of 20 New York Democrats, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), released a statement on Monday blasting the government’s response to the migrant crisis and pitching a litany of measures that the city, state, and federal government can take to help.
One proposal the group put forth is to increase state taxes on the top 5% of New Yorkers and have that money go towards homeless and migrant services.
Twenty legislators across New York, including myself, released a statement today regarding our city & state's failed policy response to recent immigrants and asylum seekers: pic.twitter.com/eysrA0J3AR
— Julia Salazar (@JuliaCarmel__) September 18, 2023
“I would absolutely be over the moon if they call back a special session to raise taxes on the rich,” said state Senator Jabari Brisport, who represents part of Brooklyn.
“New York is the most unequal state with the most billionaires in it, and they do not pay what they owe to the rest of us in New York,” Brisport said. “So raising their taxes to fund social services for all New Yorkers.”
The 20 Democrats also called for forcing New York’s counties to take in and house migrants by expanding the right-to-shelter mandate statewide.
At least four New York counties have issued executive orders blocking the new migrants from being placed in their communities. The counties are suing New York City for attempting to resettle migrants in their areas.
Yet another proposal from the group is to dip into New York’s economic uncertainties fund, which currently holds more than $13 billion.
New York City is struggling to metabolize more than 113,000 migrants who have shown up in the city since last spring, nearly 60,000 of whom are still being housed on the city’s dime.
The city has already spent more than $1.2 billion on the migrants and is projected to spend up to $5 billion.
“This issue will destroy New York City,” Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, said this month. “We’re getting 10,000 migrants a month. … Every community in this city is going to be impacted.”
The situation has sparked tension between New York’s Democratic leaders and the Biden administration, with the governor and mayor calling for more federal help with the migrant crisis.
Biden’s Department of Homeland Security has since given New York City $140 million in federal funding to address the migrant crisis, but Adams has said it would take more aid to get the situation under control.
Migrants are also causing other headaches for New York besides overcrowding the emergency shelter system — some have caused public disturbances. Meanwhile, business owners in Manhattan say their businesses suffer significantly due to the chaos spilling onto the streets from hotels used as migrant shelters. Migrants have been spotted drinking and using drugs inside the hotels as well.
Meanwhile, New Yorkers are getting more frustrated.
More than four in ten New York state residents — 41% — said they support a border wall spanning the entire length of the country’s southern border with Mexico, according to a Siena College Poll released earlier this month.
Even in deep blue New York City, 38% of city dwellers said they would support a border wall, the poll found.