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Dozens of New York City Democrats penned a letter to President Biden this week pleading for help with New York’s migrant crisis, which has quickly spiraled out of control.
Fifty-four Democratic lawmakers from across the Big Apple signed a letter on Wednesday asking the White House to provide relief for “one of the most significant humanitarian crises New York City has ever faced,” saying the city is at “a breaking point.”
BREAKING: 54 Elected Officials in NYC have signed my letter calling on President Biden to address the migrant influx. We are calling on @POTUS to declare a state of emergency, expedite work permits, and lead an urgent response at the southern border. pic.twitter.com/VFf4A89y5w
— Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (@JeniferRajkumar) July 26, 2023
The letter asks Biden to declare a federal state of emergency on the flood of migrants streaming into New York City as well as expedite work authorization for migrants, come up with a system to “fairly distribute” the migrants coming over the border, and give New York more money to deal with the crisis.
“We are elected officials from New York City requesting your help. Our City is experiencing an unprecedented migrant influx, with a surge of asylum seekers arriving here in numbers never seen before in history,” the Democrats wrote.
“We take pride in New York being a beacon of hope for immigrants, but the influx of migrants is so great that the City is running out of resources,” they said.
The letter was drafted by state Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, a Democrat from Queens.
Rajkumar said the letter was not intended to embarrass President Biden but to emphasize the severity of the crisis. She also said the letter was drafted independently of City Hall, although Mayor Eric Adams recently called out the Biden administration for “failing” New York City on the migrant crisis.
“We are grateful to Assemblymember Rajkumar and the 54 colleagues for their support advocating on behalf of New York City. This is a national crisis that requires a national response and, as we’ve said for months, we are in need of help,” Adams spokeswoman Kate Smart said.
Since April of last year, more than 90,000 migrants have arrived in New York City. As of this month, about 55,000 are still being housed on the city’s dime, causing New York’s homeless shelters to burst at the seams. Combined with the city’s large homeless population, the city is now sheltering a record 105,800 people.
New York City has already poured $1.2 billion into helping the migrants since last summer.
Mayor Eric Adams said earlier this month that New York is seeing about 2,500 asylum seekers arriving every week, a “silent crisis” for the city. Even more than that estimate, about 2,800 new migrants arrived in the week ending July 16.
This month, New York City started sending flyers to the southern border warning migrants that there is “no guarantee” of shelter if they come to New York and encouraging them to pick a different city.
Amid the chaos, this is not the first time Democrats representing New York have asked the Biden administration for help with the city’s migrant emergency.
Last month, every House Democrat from New York wrote to Biden urging him to speed up work authorizations for migrants.
“The best thing in the world would be a comprehensive immigration reform, which the Republicans don’t want to engage in that dialogue and conversation,” said Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who led the June letter with Representative Jerry Nadler.