Adams said New York City has been overwhelmed. Since last spring, the city has welcomed about 40,000 asylum seekers, and last week saw a record of close to 840 asylum seekers arriving in one day, according to Adams.
“New York cannot take more. We can’t,” Adams said, adding that other cities also can’t take more.
“No city deserves what is happening,” he said.
The mayor said that his plan has the potential to be a win-win situation: The city would get some relief and migrants would be offered the opportunity to go places where there is an increased need for workers, provided the federal government will give them a special work permit while they wait to determine if they will be granted asylum.
But first, he has to convince New York Gov. Kathy Hochul that his plan is both viable and valuable to communities upstate.
Adams has wanted shared responsibility for the influx of migrants but Hochul hasn’t responded to his plan, only acknowledging that she will continue to offer help and support.
The potential conflict between two of the most powerful Democratic leaders in the state has some at the state Capitol concerned that it could become a very public blame game and nothing will ever get done.
Plus, Adams is not the only elected official pushing this idea of relocating migrants upstate.
Last fall, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) also suggested the possibility of transporting migrants upstate, saying it would help struggling communities.
But nothing can really happen without Hochul’s involvement unless the federal government steps in and moves the idea forward. Then, everyone else would have to fall in line.
However, it’s highly unlikely the federal government would step in on this issue.
In the past, Adams said that the city has done its job, providing housing, food and other resources for almost 27,000 migrants who have come to the city since last spring.
He has even asked the federal government for $2 billion in funding, explaining that the cost of providing migrant care is enormous.
“We need a real leadership moment from FEMA,” Adams said during his trip to El Paso. “This is a national crisis.”
New York City is a sanctuary city, which means no asylum seekers can legally be turned away. But while the mayor has always preached that no migrants would be refused, his new plan to send migrants upstate has contradicted his original stance.
But with the city quickly becoming overwhelmed with migrants who have been bused from the southern border by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Adams’ new plan could bring relief.
Abbott has taken advantage of sanctuary cities across the U.S. since the border has become overrun by migrants, sending busloads of migrants to places like New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.
Adams said Abbott’s actions are abnormal and excessive, and he is frustrated the federal government has offered little help.
Abbott has responded to the mayor, saying Adams is getting a taste of what his state has been dealing with for a very long time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.