EL PASO, TX (border report). On the eve of his visit to the US-Mexico border, Mayor Eric Adams announced that New York City had asked the state for “immediate assistance” to accommodate hundreds of migrants expected to arrive over the weekend. .
The request for emergency mutual assistance in New York State comes as an average of 400 people arrive in the city daily, including 875 just last Thursday.
“Now we are seeing more people arriving than we have ever seen,” Adams said in a statement, adding that the shelter system is at an all-time high and the city is at a “breaking point.”
Many of these migrants got there by bus from El Paso, where Adams traveled on Saturday. Together with El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, he visited a migrant processing center, visited the border wall with El Paso Mayor Oscar Lizer, and spoke with migrants at the Sacred Heart Church.
The mayor’s office tweeted a video of him telling dozens of migrants, “We’re fighting for you to work and experience the American dream,” to cheers and applause.
Late last summer, thousands of migrants seeking asylum – most of them from Venezuela – began arriving in El Paso from Juarez, Mexico. At the time, Venezuelan citizens were not subject to deportation under Section 42, a public health decree designed to stop the cross-border spread of COVID-19.
Local shelters and processing centers quickly filled up, leaving the Border Patrol no choice but to drop them off near the Greyhound bus station in downtown El Paso.
In August, the El Paso City and County Office of Emergency Management began moving migrants out of the city, and most of them chose to go to New York. (The state of Texas has been sending buses of migrants to New York for months.)
Adams says New York has taken in 40,000 asylum seekers since last spring, providing them with shelter, food and other resources.
“We are on the brink of a breakdown,” Adams said. “Based on our projections, we assume that we will not be able to continue to shelter incoming asylum seekers on our own. …”
In El Paso, Adams criticized the federal government’s response to the influx of immigrants into US cities. On Sunday, he said: “We need clear coordination.”
He explained that cities where immigrants flow need help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Adams says, “Our cities are being bombed.”
Adam said his city opened 74 temporary shelters and four humanitarian aid centers “almost entirely on its own.”
“The lack of much-needed federal immigration reform should not mean that this humanitarian crisis falls solely on the shoulders of cities,” he said.