During Mayor Eric Adams’ visit to El Paso, Texas, he said New York asylum seekers are overwhelming the city.
“New York cannot take more. We can’t,” he said. “There’s no more room in New York.”
Adams called on city mayors across the country to join forces and handle the rapid migrant crisis.
“This is a national problem,” Adams said at a news conference in Texas Sunday evening. “We must have real immigration reform and we must immediately have a short-term fix of making sure that the cost of this does not fall on our local cities.”
Adams’ agenda on his one-day trip Sunday included meeting with local officials, visiting a local shelter, going to a facility that provides support services to asylum seekers and the southern border and touring the U.S. Customs Border Protection facility.
On Friday, his administration said more than 3,100 asylum seekers arrived in New York City in the past week, including 835 in just one day — making it the largest single-day arrival the city has seen.
“I knew it was time for me not to handle this problem from the city, but to come and to interact with the mayors across the country,” he said. “This has fallen on our cities.”
Adams said he will meet with the American Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C., this week, where he plans “to raise this issue and how are we approaching to come up with a real coordinated effort to put in place an agenda to address this issue.”
He told reporters Sunday that he plans on collaborating with mayors who are directly impacted, as well as those who aren’t.
“Today is El Paso, tomorrow it’ll be their cities,” Adams said.
He said he plans on being on the ground “as much as possible” and coming up with a “formal plan that’s coming from the cities to have the national government execute without input.”
.@NYCMayor made another stop at the border this afternoon to hear about @CBP’s efforts at the border.— Fabien Levy (@Fabien_Levy) January 15, 2023
Mayor Adams saw a young boy walking along the side of the wall hoping to get over to the U.S. pic.twitter.com/QgEDRb5thQ
“This is a manmade crisis that is going to take men and women across this country to solve. And I’m going to extend my hand to mayors across this country to say ‘together, we did not create this problem, but together we will find solutions.’ But those solutions must be implemented by the federal government,” Adams said.
“I’m extremely disappointed on what what we have done to the cities of this country,” he said, adding that he doesn't see an “urgency” from the government.
When asked how much he wants from the federal government, Adams said they should pay the “entire cost” of what El Paso, New York City and other cities are paying for their response to the migrant crisis.
“I believe that we must appoint a FEMA leader that is going to come in and look at this and coordinate our response,” he said, adding that the migrant crisis is a “national emergency.”
When Adams arrived in Texas late last night, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser gave him a tour of “an area where asylum seekers have been known to cross the border, as well as an area where many asylum seekers are sleeping,” according to Fabien Levy, Adams’ press secretary.
.@NYCMayor landed in El Paso, Texas tonight to survey the asylum seeker crisis at the southern border.— Fabien Levy (@Fabien_Levy) January 15, 2023
El Paso Mayor Leeser took us an impromptu visit to an area where asylum seekers have been known to cross the border, as well as an area where many asylum seekers are sleeping. pic.twitter.com/utlT2KmdpD