NEW YORK (NewsNation) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams says thousands of migrants are flocking to the city each month, putting a massive strain on city resources, and the crisis “will destroy” the city, as he reiterated his call for more state and federal help.
“We’re getting no support on this national crisis,” Adams Adams said at a town hall Wednesday. “I don’t see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City.”
Meanwhile, New York’s Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless called Adams’ remarks reckless and unproductive fear-mongering.
“This dangerous rhetoric is something you’d expect from fringe politicians on the far right of the political spectrum, not the mayor of a city that has always welcomed and celebrated its diverse and critically important immigrant community,” the organizations said in a joint statement.
Adams said more than 100,000 migrants have passed through New York City since April 2022. Currently, the city is caring for nearly 60,000 — placing the migrants at city-sponsored shelters, hotels and makeshift tent cities.
The migrants’ arrival has provoked angry protests in some communities.
“Every service in the city is going to be impacted,” Adams said. “We’re getting 10,000 migrants a month. One time we were just in Venezuela, now we getting Ecuador, now we getting Russian speaking coming through Mexico, now we’re getting Western Africa.”
Without federal funding, Adams says the crisis could cost the city $12 billion by 2025.
Some New Yorkers believe the crisis could have broader national consequences. Cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Philadelphia are also taking in migrants, but New York City is the epicenter.
“I think it’s gonna destroy the country,” one New Yorker said. “I think everyone has to do it legally. That’s how other people did it and why should it make a difference for anyone else.”
Adams has asked President Joe Biden to sign a special order that would allow migrants to receive special work permits. He says with that authorization migrants would be able to get jobs, legally make money and not rely solely on city social services.
Adams said he hasn’t received a response from the White House.