(NewsNation) — Asylum seekers are going door to door looking for help in New York City after being bused into the city by politicians in border states, Staten Island residents told NewsNation.
More than 17,000 asylum seekers have arrived in the city since April, according to a news release released last week.
The busing began in spring when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced plans to send busloads of migrants to Washington, D.C., and New York City in response to President Joe Biden’s decision to lift a pandemic-era emergency health order that restricted migrant entry numbers.
Some NYC officials are saying they’re running out of space in city-run shelters and hotels. The Adams administration, the news release said, estimates that the city is on track to surpass the highest number of people recorded in its shelter system. If the pace of migrants coming into the city continues, the city’s shelter census will be over 100,000 in the coming year, officials said.
Most of the migrants are staying in 40 hotels across the city, including at the Staten Island Inn, a stay the city is sponsoring. NewsNation’s Dray Clark spoke with some residents who say they didn’t know that the migrants were coming.
“For a small community, there are people already walking around the neighborhood, knocking on their doors, asking for food, asking for clothing,” Gene Guerra, Travis Civic Association president. “This is only the beginning. I don’t know how many rooms are full but it will only get worse.”
During a 15-minute address streamed from City Hall Friday, Adams said New York City’s budget is expected to take a $1 billion hit by the end of the fiscal year.
“The Travis community is very Republican. And I think from my thought process and what I’m seeing, you know, nobody’s very supportive of the border situation that should be under control,” Sebastian Bongiovani, a local pizza shop owner. “These people care about human beings, and they also care about their own children their own businesses.”
City agencies including the Department of Social Services, Education Department and Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, as well as organizations like the Hispanic Federation, United Way and New York Immigration Coalition have worked with the migrants, Adams said.
In the next few weeks, the city will open a Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on Randall’s Island that the mayor says will safely house “hundreds” of migrants.
NewsNation local affiliate PIX11 and the Associated Press contributed to this article.