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NYC mayor warns of ‘painful’ budget cuts amid migrant influx

NEW YORK (NewsNation) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams said residents should expect to see some “extremely painful” cuts to city funding as it continues to incur costs surrounding the influx of arriving migrants.

Adams blamed the billions of dollars spent on the migrant crisis and the expiring federal aid. Under the proposed budget, every city agency will see a 5% cut, including freezing police recruitment.

“This is probably one of the most painful exercises I’ve gone through,” said Adams. “And when we look around the police department, and what our number of police officers is going to be, and how we’ve done so well in dropping crime in our city. This is going to be extremely painful for New Yorkers. And that is why we continue to say we need help.”

This poses a challenge for an already strained NYPD, which seeks to replace 3,000 officers lost in retirement or relocations over the last four years.

NewsNation contacted Adams’s office for comment on the plan, but received no response.

In a statement, the New York City Police Benevolent Association, which represents more than 50,000 active duty and retired police officers, said, “This is going to turn the NYPD staffing crisis into a public safety disaster. Our police officers are being worked to exhaustion, and 911 response times are already rising. What is going to happen when no reinforcements arrive for months on end? Cutting cops puts New Yorkers at risk, period.”

The proposed cuts, however, will still need City Council approval.

New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zachary Iscol lamented the cuts while delivering a grim assessment.

“Our hearts are with the advocates,” sad Iscol. “I think if you’ve seen what the city has done over the last year and a half, nobody has done more for asylum seekers, for immigrants, for migrants than the city of New York. I think we also have to face reality, right, that there’s only so much that we can do. As the mayor has repeatedly said, ‘This is a national crisis.’ It’s an international crisis. It demands a national response. I think what we’ve done here can serve as a model for what the federal government could be doing.”

New York City has spent $1.45 billion on asylum seekers in fiscal year 2023.

Amid the slew of cuts, school safety has been top of the list of concerns for many parents. One of the proposed cuts would be to school safety agents.

Adams was recently criticized for saying parents might have to step in and volunteer to keep city schools safe.

“We’re going to be leaning into parents and parent groups to do some volunteerism,” Adams said when asked about the reduction in safety agents.

The New York Post reports the new class of 250 school safety agents is being scraped in the mayor’s proposed cuts.

NewsNation affiliate WPIX in New York and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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