(NewsNation) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams says as many as 700 migrants are arriving each day in the Big Apple. Scrambling to find housing for them, Adams tossed around a new idea — having residents open their doors and welcome migrants into their homes.
“There are residents who are suffering right now because of economic challenges. They have spare rooms, they have locales,” Adams said at a recent news briefing. “If we can find a way to get over the … rules that government has in place, we can take that $4.3 billion that we potentially would have to spend (to house migrants), and we can put it back in the pockets of everyday New Yorkers.”
Adams said he’s a “big believer” in leading the charge.
“I was speaking with the staff to see if I can put a few families into Gracie Mansion,” the mayor’s official residence, he said.
Some Republican governors have protested border security policies by busing or flying migrants to Democratic-led areas, such as New York City, across the country. It’s a move the White House thinks is irresponsible.
“Busing or flying migrants around the country without any coordination with the federal government … is dangerous and unacceptable,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “You’re actually putting a lot of pressure on these states and local areas.”
New York City currently must house migrants due to its right-to-shelter laws, and officials have urged the Biden administration to give them more funding and resources. Councilman Robert Holden, who represents Queens, says he thinks this is the “wrong way to go” about the policy with recent asylum seekers.
“The right-to-shelter came about and from 1979 to about 1981, there was litigation brought on the state of New York to house anybody that needs shelter. And at that time, it really applied to New Yorkers,” Holden said during an interview with NewsNation host Leland Vittert. “That’s why we think the right-to-shelter is the wrong way to go on this one because we can’t take in the world. If a million people come, do we have to house a million people and feed them and clothe them? It’s ridiculous.”
The progressive group Make the Road surveyed more than 750 migrants and asylum seekers in New York City. Of those surveyed, 95% intend to seek asylum and 93% say they have not yet found a lawyer.
According to the mayor’s office, New York City has supported more than 72,000 asylum seekers since last spring with more than 46,000 still in the city’s care. The city says if migrant arrivals continue at this pace, they are projected to spend more than $4.3 billion by the end of June 2024.