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Eric Adams warns of NYC service cuts to prioritize migrants as Title 42 expires: ‘This can’t continue’

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said with the expiration of Title 42, the Big Apple may be forced to cut public services to prioritize an expected influx of an additional 1,000 migrants arriving every week. 

Title 42, the immigration restrictions put in place by the Trump administration in March 2020 to curtail to spread of an infectious disease, has extended during the Biden administration, blocking hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. in recent years. 

Yet, under a federal court ruling last week, immigration officials can no longer turn back asylum seekers, and Title 42 is to expire Wednesday despite shelters along the U.S.-Mexico border already packed with thousands of migrants. 

“Our shelter system is full, and we are nearly out of money, staff, and space. Truth be told, if corrective measures are not taken soon, we may very well be forced to cut or curtail programs New Yorkers rely on, and the pathway to house thousands more is uncertain,” Adams said in a statement Sunday. “These are not choices we want to make, but they may become necessary, and I refuse to be forced to choose new arrivals over current New Yorkers. I’ll say it again — we need a plan, we need assistance, and we need it now.”

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In the past several months, New York City has already received more than 31,000 asylum seekers and currently has open 60 emergency shelters, four humanitarian relief centers and two welcome centers. Thousands of migrant children have been placed in schools. The mayor admitted the city “spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars paying to cloth, feed, house, and support this deeply in-need population.”

“The flow of asylum seekers to New York City has slowed in recent months but the tool that the federal government has used to manage those coming over the border is set to expire this week, and we have been told in no uncertain terms that, beginning today, we should expect an influx of busses coming from the border and that more than 1,000 additional asylum seekers will arrive in New York City every week,” Adams said. “We are in urgent need for help, and it’s time for our state and federal partners to act — especially those in Congress who refuse to provide the financial resources or issue temporary work authorizations necessary for these individuals to live properly.”

Adams asserted that “New York City has managed this crisis entirely on its own,” and the city’s requests from the state and federal government for funding and other assistance “have been mostly ignored.” 

“And while the New York federal delegation has repeatedly advocated for funding to be sent back to New York City, many in Congress — both Republicans and Democrats — have refused to lift a finger,” the mayor said in a statement. “This can’t continue. With the expiration of Title 42 just days away, we need the federal government — both in the administration and in Congress — to share their plans to move asylum seekers to other cities, to allow asylum seekers to work, and to send aid to the cities that have borne the brunt of this crisis.”

“We need our partners in the state to acknowledge they too have a responsibility here, and to provide the resources we’ve asked,” he added. “We need advocates that speak on behalf of the most vulnerable to step up and press the state and federal government to act. And we need New Yorkers to understand that, so far, they have been asked to shoulder this burden almost entirely alone, despite the fact that this challenge originated far beyond our city’s borders.”

Adams and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, have been engaged in a public feud over the Lone Star state’s operation of busing migrants from the southern border to New York City and other “sanctuary destinations” despite the mayor of El Paso, a Democrat, also sending buses to Manhattan’s Port Authority. 

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The mayor of New York issued a statement on Title 42 ahead of Monday’s scheduled oversight hearing when City Council will hear from the leaders of the city’s departments of emergency management, health, hospitals, education and other social services regarding the response to migrants’ needs. 

Meanwhile, the city of El Paso, Texas, declared a state of emergency Saturday as illegal border crossings have overwhelmed local law enforcement ahead of the upcoming expiration of Title 42. 

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