NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — The number of people in New York City shelters is hitting new records daily amid an uncontrollable influx of asylum seekers on buses from Texas and elsewhere.
On Friday, New York Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency and announced an executive order to suspend land use requirements to help the city cope with the influx.
The mayor said Adams was “outraged” that the city’s compassion was being “exploited by others for political gain” and that what he called a “humanitarian crisis” was being “accelerated by American political dynamics.”
There are currently 61,000 people in the shelter system, “reducing our ability to care for New Yorkers in need,” Adams said. He expects the city to have spent $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year.
corresponding | Eyewitness News Special: Seeking Asylum in New York City
At least 5,500 migrant children are enrolled in city schools.
“While our compassion is limitless, our resources are not,” Adams said during a speech from the City Hall Blue Room. “It’s unsustainable.”
Of the 61,000 people in shelters, 20,000 are children. One in five is an asylum seeker.
More than 17,000 asylum seekers have been sent to NYC. Five or six buses arrive every day, sometimes more.
Nine people were expected at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Thursday, the highest number in a single day, the head of the city’s Office of Emergency Management told City Council members.
Eyewitness reports that two more buses arrived on Friday morning.
Responding to media reports about the city’s state of emergency, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said buses would continue to be sent.
“Sanctuary cities like New York City experience part of what Texas border communities face every day,” he said in a tweet. “We will continue to migrate to NYC, DC, & Chicago will keep our border towns free until Biden does his job of securing the border.”
Adams’ office issued the following response:
“We’ve already proven Governor Abbott is a liar last week. We’re going to continue to trust asylum seekers who are looking for a better life, and we can’t trust a politician who can’t even tell his entire state the truth during a debate.”
Administration officials told elected leaders Thursday that they are considering large hotels and places of worship to temporarily house asylum seekers.
Earlier this weekThe city councilors suggested that the management look at the 10 hotels that are currently closed.
The proposal comes after plans for a welcome center Moved from Orchard Beach to Randall’s IslandA site that can only process half of the asylum seekers leaves the city scrambling for more space.
The administration this week appealed to church and community groups for help, suggesting a kind of “Adopt-A-Shelter” program in which religious leaders would collect donated items and distribute them to asylum seekers.
City officials say about a third of the migrants want to move to another city or state.
Most of the immigrants are from Venezuela and most of them want to go to Florida, but Texas does not provide free buses to Florida.
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