Mayor Adams is in El Paso, Texas to see the migrant crisis first hand

Mayor Adams is in El Paso, Texas to see the migrant crisis firsthand


New York City Mayor Eric Adams traveled to the Texas border city of El Paso over the weekend to ask the federal government for more funding and support for American cities hosting tens of thousands of migrants seeking refuge from the economic crisis and political upheaval in Latin America.

During the trip, his first visit to the U.S.-Mexico border as mayor, Adams said cities like New York and El Paso are on the “front lines” of an unprecedented migration crisis that recently prompted the Biden administration to take a new strategy designed to prevent illegal border crossing.

“This is a national crisis and we need a national solution.” said Adams, a Democrat who issued a state of emergency was declared in October over the arrival of migrants in New York.

Over the past few months, El Paso struggled deal with a sharp increase in migrant arrivals, mostly from crisis-hit countries such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. A Democratic-led Texas city has converted a convention center and two vacant high schools into makeshift migrant housing to relieve the city’s overcrowded shelters. Many migrants were still sleeping on the streets of El Paso.

New York, for its part, has also received tens of thousands of migrants in recent months who entered the US along the southern border. Some of them came to the city with the help of volunteers or family members in the United States. Others were brought to New York by Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who has been transporting migrants to Democratic-led cities to protest President Biden’s border policies.

For several months of last year, the city authorities of El Paso also sent dozens of buses with migrants to New York. But his activities were designed to reduce overcrowding in local shelters, not to send a political message.

Adams has warned since last year that New York will face severe fiscal and operational problems without increased state and federal aid to welcome migrants. The city has set up 74 shelters and four processing centers to house the new arrivals, including in converted hotels. In all, New York City has offered shelter, food and other services to roughly 40,000 migrants, and the project will cost city officials more than $1 billion.

Last week, Adams told New York State Gov. Cathy Hatchul, a Democrat, said the situation was “pushing New York to the brink” and called on state officials to help shelter the 500 migrants.

“We’re at a tipping point,” Adams said. “Based on our projections, we believe we will not be able to continue sheltering asylum seekers on our own and have submitted an emergency mutual aid request to New York State beginning this weekend.”

During his trip to El Paso on Saturday and Sunday, Adams met with local volunteers, shelter officials, migrants and city leaders, including Mayor Oscar Leeser, another Democrat who also asked for and secured help from the Biden administration on shelter, food and transports arriving migrants.

On Sunday, Adams drew cheers and applause from a group of migrants when he told them he would fight for their chance to work in the United States and achieve the “American dream.” video meeting shows.

One of the main frustrations Adams voiced is that migrants arriving in New York cannot legally work because of a federal law that prevents them from obtaining work permits until their asylum claims are processed. several months. Although he has asked the federal government to drop the requirement, it can only be changed by Congress, which has not passed major immigration legislation since the 1990s.

Other Democrats joined Adams in calling for more federal action to help cities house migrants who have been allowed to stay in the country by border guards while their asylum cases are pending.

On Sunday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she “wholeheartedly” agreed with Adams’ call for increased federal support. While she expressed appreciation for the Biden administration’s efforts to address the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, she said additional steps are needed to help meet the “immediate needs” of migrants arriving in Chicago, where Texas officials were also pleased. transported migrants.

“Months and thousands of migrants later, we continue to struggle with the problem of how to adapt to the growing number of asylum seekers and the rising costs associated with this, which were left in the first place to manage the city,” Lightfoot. wrote on Twitter.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration unveiled its most comprehensive strategy to deal with the unprecedented number of migrants arriving along the southern border. He announced that he would expand deportations of migrants who crossed into the US illegally while expanding opportunities for some migrants to enter the country legally, including through a program for those with US financial sponsors.

Biden administration officials have insisted that the federal government is helping local communities host migrants, including by issuing grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program.

Previous articleCalifornia storms: Record rainfall and more snow, but the end of the ‘parade of storms’ is not far away
Next articleBills hang on for a playoff win as Damar Hamlin cheers the team on at home