migrant crisis

Eric Adams' New NYC Migrant Crisis Plan: Open 24/7 Center, Send Asylum Seekers Elsewhere

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With the number of asylum seekers bused to New York City since last spring at 50,000, Mayor Eric Adams announced the city intends to shift its approach from emergency triage to longer term settlement strategies.

The mayor declined to share many details of the new plan, announced at City Hall on Tuesday. He said it would involve establishing a new 24-7 office that is focused on the ongoing needs of those seeking asylum.

Adams would not disclose a location or a timeframe for the new office. He added that the city is in discussions with other cities and non profits to redistribute migrants to other locations outside NYC.

"Please don't ask me which cities because I don't need you running to the cities and stopping us from getting asylum seekers there," Adams said, addressing reporters at his news conference. "So we're not telling you, we'll tell you when they get there."

He also announced plans to clear out a section of the Port Authority Bus Terminal that has been dedicated to helping asylum seekers, since buses from the border started rolling in nearly a year ago. On any given day, hundreds of migrants can be found at the transit hub — not because they just arrived or need to catch a bus, but because they're living in local shelters and are coming back in search of additional help.

Mutual aid volunteers on the ground say the needs are great.

"When they come to us, they ask for specific things: food, clothing, school, health services, lawyer services. All of these things that are supposedly offered by the city," said Power Malu of the mutual aid group Artists Athletes and Activists.

During a visit to the terminal on Tuesday, Cristian, a father from Colombia who arrived in NYC in the fall said his asylum hearing was in less than 24 hours ...in Idaho but that he had no money to get there.

While the city is struggling to pay for the influx of migrants, officials are facing tough questions on the conditions that migrants are living in. Melissa Russo reports.

"I'm trying to get help, but it's difficult,"  he said.

Translating for her mother, a 12-year-old girl named Damaris said her family of migrants was trying to accumulate enough money for a bus ticket to Florida and had been sleeping in the bus terminal for three days.

Mayor Adams called on the Biden administration to move more quickly, send more money, and devise a decompression strategy which he said is a Federal responsibility — not his.  Adams agreed this week to take on a formal role campaigning for President Biden's re-election, and insisted he will not soften his pointed advocacy for more migrant resources and better immigration policy from the White House.

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