‘We are at our breaking point’: NYC Mayor Adams pleads with state for migrant shelter


New York City Mayor Eric Adams is asking the state to immediately open a shelter for 500 asylum-seekers, as the city continues to deal with an influx of migrants the mayor says is pushing it “to the brink.”

In a statement on Friday, Adams said his administration filed an “emergency mutual aid request” with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration, in hopes of convincing the state to open the shelter beginning this weekend.

The request comes as the city took in more than 3,100 asylum-seekers in the week of Jan. 2, including 835 last Thursday, according to the mayor’s office.

“We are at our breaking point,” Adams said in the statement.

Adams’ request comes after he’s spent months pleading with state and federal officials for more funding as the city struggles to handle the wave of migrants who have come to New York City from border states in droves.

The request for shelter is likely to expand. Adams said his request for 500 beds is an “initial request” that will expand as the city takes in additional people.

New York City is a “right-to-shelter” jurisdiction, meaning it is legally obligated to provide a shelter bed to any homeless individual who wants one. That includes the thousands of migrants that have made their way to the city in recent months.

All told, Adams said the city has provided food and shelter to nearly 40,000 asylum-seekers since the spring, opening up 74 shelters and four relief centers along the way. But in his statement on Friday, Adams said the recent wave of arrivals has the city anticipating that it will soon be “unable to continue sheltering arriving asylum-seekers on our own.”

Hochul’s office could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday afternoon.

Earlier in the week, Hochul was asked about Adams’ continued requests for aid, and whether the state would provide additional funding for the city. In response, Hochul pointed to aid the state has provided in the form of legal representation for asylum-seekers, as well as National Guard members assisting with staffing.

Hochul then shifted the focus to the federal government and President Joe Biden — whom Adams has also been petitioning for aid.

“We fully believe that the federal government has an obligation to help the communities that are taking the influx of migrants because of the crisis at the border,” Hochul told reporters in the Bronx on Tuesday. “I have conveyed that to the president.”

On Friday, the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless issued a joint statement reminding Adams that New York City has a legal obligation to shelter the asylum-seekers arriving in the city.

“Regardless of the circumstances, these are obligations that no mayor can shirk,” the joint statement reads. “That said, Washington and Albany have so far provided only minimal financial assistance for the city to meet this moment, and all levels of government must do their part to ensure that legal obligations are met and all people in need, including asylum-seekers, are provided access to safe, decent and accessible shelter.”


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