NYC migrant crisis: Adams meets White House advisor as influx continues

New York City is struggling to keep up with the waves of migrants still arriving every day.

Nearly 100,000 migrants have passed through the city since last spring. Since then the city has opened nearly 200 emergency sites to house migrants, including more than a dozen large-scale humanitarian relief centers. But the federal government has so far offered very few solutions, despite pleas from city, state, and local leaders.

On Thursday, the White House sent Senior Advisor Tom Perez to City Hall to meet with Mayor Eric Adams on the migrant crisis.

"We have a number of important issues to discuss," Perez said quickly as he walked in.


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Mayor Adams claims that the city will spend more on migrants than it does on the Fire, Parks and Sanitation Departments combined.

The federal government has so far only allocated around $140 million to the city in aid, although city officials say they have yet to see any of that money. Adams on CNN said that he hasn’t even spoken with President Joe Biden since last year.

Adam’s team would not go into extensive detail on the meeting with Perez - his chief of staff called it a productive conversation, but wouldn’t say what’s next.

"What was discussed is this is a complicated issue for everyone all around and so they're taking it seriously as evidenced by the fact that he is here," Camille Joseph Varlack, Mayor Adams Chief of Staff said. "We’re going to continue to be in close contact."

City Council members held a hearing on Thursday to examine a new shelter rule that limits migrant’s stay to 60 days.


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Council members questioned city officials on if this means migrants will be sleeping on the street after the 60 days.

Officials say they are trying to avoid that, but offered no promises pointing at the need for additional state and federal resources.

According to the administration, notices started going out on July 31 and so far more than 900 migrants have received them.


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"The letter doesn’t say you’re getting kicked out," New York City’s Emergency Management Commissioner Zachary Iscol said. "The letter says we need your help. That’s how it starts."

Officials say around 65 percent of migrants who have received these notices have signaled that they are willing to relocate but first need a little help.

"Things like getting IDNYC, or need to speak English, OSHA training, getting re-ticketed," New York City Health and Hospitals senior vice president Dr. Ted Long said. "Those are some examples."

City leaders say the reason for this shelter policy change is largely attributed to the influx of migrant families with children and the city’s desire to make sure they are housed first.

Currently, the city is caring for more than 57,000 migrants including almost 20,000 children.

Officials say this is what led to almost 200 migrants sleeping outside the Roosevelt hotel last week.

However, if the city notices a significant increase in street homelessness as a result of this policy, city officials signaled that depending on resources they could be willing to re-evaluate their strategy.

"We would adjust right," Iscol said. "I think we have remained flexible throughout and we will continue to remain flexible throughout."

City officials expect the emergency shelter site at the Creedmore Psychiatric Center will open next week and the one on Randall’s Island is expected to open the week after that.