(CNN) –– New York Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency Friday to respond to the city’s immigration crisis, which he said would cost $1 billion this fiscal year.
“We now have a situation where more people are arriving in New York City than we can immediately accommodate, including families with infants and young children,” Adams explained. “When the asylum seekers who come on the buses today are given shelter, we will surpass the largest number of people in our city’s shelter system on record.”
The mayor is also asking for federal and state aid.
The declaration of the state of emergency will direct all relevant city agencies to coordinate efforts to respond to the humanitarian crisis and build the city’s Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Response Centers. The measure will be in effect for 30 days and can be extended, the mayor told reporters on Friday.
Adams detailed that New York City now has more than 61,000 people in its shelter system, including thousands who are homeless and thousands of asylum seekers who have been bussed in from other parts of the country in recent months. According to the mayor, more than 17,000 asylum seekers have been bused from the southern border to New York City since April of this year.
As of the first week of October, the state of Texas had spent more than $18 million transporting immigrants ––who were processed and released by immigration authorities in Texas border communities–– to the city of Washington, New York City and Chicago. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, announced the program in April, acknowledging that taxpayers were likely to pay the price.
“This is a humanitarian crisis that began with violence and instability in South America and has been accelerated by US political dynamics,” Adams said. “Thousands of asylum seekers have been bussed into New York City and simply dumped here, without warning, coordination, or care. And more are arriving every day,” she continued.
The mayor said New York City’s shelter system is operating at nearly 100% capacity. The city anticipates spending at least $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year dealing with the influx of immigrants. Adams added that if asylum seekers continue to pour into the city at the current rate, the total population within the shelter system will top 100,000 people in the next year.
He also noted that 42 hotels have been set up as emergency shelters and 5,500 migrant children have been enrolled in schools.
“In the coming weeks, we will open a large Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Response Center on Randall’s Island, which will safely house hundreds of people who are in New York City after a long journey from our southern border,” Adams said. “But unless we take immediate action, that center will be filled in just days. And we will have to open another and another and another, even as winter approaches.”
Adams also called for emergency federal and state aid to handle the continuing influx of asylum seekers. “We have received some of the help we have asked for, but we need more,” she said. “We are on the edge of the precipice. We need a serious partnership and realistic solutions. Like I said before, we need help. And we need it now.” Aside from financial aid, Adams said the city needs assistance with expedited work permits, a national decompression strategy that will slow the outflow of asylum seekers, and a resettlement strategy.
The city is also exploring a potential program for New Yorkers to volunteer to welcome asylum seekers and the “homeless” into their homes.
“New Yorkers want to help, and we’ll make it simple and easy for them to do so,” said the Mayor.