(The Center Square) – New York City’s mayor on Friday recognized what political officials in southern border states have been trying to explain for more than a year.
Mayor Eric Adams issued an emergency executive order in response to “the asylum seeker humanitarian crisis.” In a news release, he said more than 17,000 asylum seekers bussed to New York City since the spring would elevate shelter capacities beyond 100,000 before the end of the calendar year and cost $1 billion.
He’s asking for state and federal aid, along with coordination of city organizations.
As The Center Square reported through its sources two months ago, nearly 5 million people from more than 150 countries have entered the U.S. illegally since President Joe Biden’s tenure in the White House began in January 2020. The sources include U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data and border patrol agents who provide “gotaway” numbers to The Center Square.
“Gotaways” is the term used by the patrol for those who’ve intentionally entered the U.S. illegally and evaded law enforcement who haven’t made asylum or immigration claims. The information is not reported publicly.
The mayor said almost 20,000 are children, “and one in five of them is an asylum seeker.” The numbers are rising daily.
“This is a humanitarian crisis that started with violence and instability in South America and is being accelerated by American political dynamics,” said Adams, a Brooklyn Democrat in his freshman year in office after a lengthy time in the state Senate. “Thousands of asylum seekers have been bused into New York City and simply dropped off, without notice, coordination, or care – and more are arriving every day.”
As bad as Adams describes it, southwestern states spin a more sobering tale.
Thirty-three counties in Texas have made declarations of invasion, and the state’s Republican Party adopted an invasion resolution asking Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to make a declaration on behalf of the state and nation for protection against an imminent threat to their lives.
Estimates are rough, but 18,000 a day has been reported by The Center Square. That’s the equivalent of the number of allied D-Day forces landing in Texas every 10 days. For example, McMullen County Judge James Teal said law enforcement in his Lone Star State county documented 4,000 people living in or entering the country illegally or without legal permission – in just one month.
Adams used similar description to what happens in the southwestern states. He said the city has been on its own to manage the number of buses coming into the city with those who crossed the border, not knowing what was coming next. He took a shot at states sending them by saying they didn’t coordinate with his city staff; he said 42 hotels have been turned into emergency shelters; and he said 5,500 children have been enrolled in public schools.
In other prepared comments, Adams said, “This crisis is not of our own making but one that will affect everyone in this city, now and in the months ahead. New Yorkers deserve to know why this is happening and what we plan to do.”
Adams mixed compassion, politics and defense of the five boroughs in his address. He said the majority were adults unable to legally work in America; many have school-age children; and some need serious medical care.
“New York City has helped them all,” Adams said.
He later added, “Without the ability to work legally in this country, they need long-term shelter, health care, and a great deal of institutional support. It is straining the limits of our ability to provide care for New Yorkers in need, and it is burning through our city’s budget. We expect to spend at least $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year on this crisis. All because we have a functional and compassionate system.
“Our right-to-shelter laws, our social services, and our values are being exploited by others for political gain.”
Southwestern states politicians may not be able to dodge the accusation, but their mission collectively has been for their constituents – same as Adams. Blame has stretched wide, including to Pennsylvania Avenue and both chambers of Congress.
In a gubernatorial debate last Friday in Texas, Abbott said border cities “were overrun with the number of migrants. They needed relief and bussing was one of the ways of providing them relief.”
Chicago and the District of Columbia have also been bus destinations.
“New Yorkers are angry. I am angry, too,” Adams said. “We have not asked for this. There was never any agreement to take on the job of supporting thousands of asylum seekers.”
On that, he, Abbott and other border state politicians can agree.