Posted at 5:00 a.m
Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency in New York on Friday as the city struggles to respond to an influx of tens of thousands of Latin American immigrants.
In a speech at City Hall, Mr. Adams said the city was preparing to spend $1 billion to deal with the situation and requested federal and state funding to help pay for housing and services for immigrants, straining the city’s homeless housing system.
“We need help, and we need it now,” Adams said.
Mr. Adams, a Democrat in office since January, said the city is pressing ahead with plans to build a tent-shaped welcome center on Randalls Island in the East River outside of Manhattan. City officials are also negotiating with cruise lines to accommodate immigrants on a ship.
Mr Adams said the city has been inundated by nearly 17,000 immigrants who have arrived since April, and that he expects up to 100,000 eventually to arrive. At least nine additional coaches for the migrants arrived on Thursday.
The mayor said the city council has set up 42 emergency shelters and enrolled 5,000 children in schools. But he added that it urgently needed additional help to provide services to migrants.
Adams said declaring a state of emergency would allow city officials to move more quickly to provide services. He added that the city is also looking for ways to send some immigrants to other cities.
“A city recovering from a global pandemic is mired in a humanitarian crisis,” he said, adding that New York was “on edge.”
Mr. Adams has received criticism for his response to the crisis from homeless advocates and city council members, who disagree with efforts to house migrants in tents, huts or boats. They called for the use of empty hotels and the transfer of shelter residents to permanent accommodation as soon as possible.
Les autorités municipales envisagent d’héberger jusqu’à 2700 migrants sur un bateau de croisière et sont en interview avec trois compagnies de croisière, dont Carnival Cruise Line, a déclaré Frank Carone, chef de cabinet du maire, lors d’ve à br City hotel. The other two companies are Norwegian Cruise Line and Tallink, which host Ukrainian refugees in Estonia.
City officials are considering various cruise ship mooring sites, including a pier on Staten Island called Homeport, located between St. George’s Ferry Terminal and Verrazano Bridge.
Mr. Adams blamed Texas Governor Greg Abbott for failing to coordinate the arrival of immigrants with his administration and called on him on Friday to stop sending buses to New York and shift the burden to other cities.
“New Yorkers are angry,” Adams said. I am also angry. We didn’t ask for it. »
call for help
The mayor’s repeated pleas for state and federal aid are also pressing President Joe Biden and New York Gov. Cathy Hochhol, a month after the November elections.
When asked if he had put Mr. Biden and Mr.I Hochhol in a difficult position, Mr. Adams answered: “No, not at all.”
Mr. Adams said he spoke to Mr. Biden recently about the crisis and that Mr. Biden and Mr.I Hoochul understood the challenges facing the city.
They understand that this is an urgent situation and that New York needs help.
Eric Adams, Mayor of New York
Angelo Ruffaro, a spokesman for New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, said his office is “in close contact with Adams’ team and is working with the New York state delegation to obtain resources and get the Biden administration to do everything in its power to be helpful.”
City officials argued Friday that about a third of immigrants arriving in New York want to go to other destinations, including many Venezuelan immigrants who have relatives or friends in Florida. Mr. Adams noted that the city was working to move these immigrants to other cities.
The Legal Aid Society and the Homeless Coalition released a statement saying they agreed with the mayor that the city needed additional state and federal support, but that the city’s homeless crisis began many years ago.
The organizations said: “The fact that the number of accommodation centers has never been this high is not solely due to the influx of asylum seekers. It is the city’s shameful historic failure to invest appropriately in affordable housing that has continued to fuel mass homelessness.”
The groups also called on New York City to “abandon its plan to build tent cities, and focus on high-quality indoor shelter options and permanent housing.”
This article was originally published in The New York Times.
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