NEW YORK - Around 2-3,000 migrants are still arriving in New York City every week, according to Mayor Eric Adams. And right now, there are no signs of it slowing down, even as numerous officials continue to press the White House for additional federal aid and a national decompression strategy.
"This is the number one issue that's facing the city right now," Mayor Adams said.
City Comptroller Brad Lander headed to DC on Tuesday to meet with Homeland Security and White House officials on the migrant crisis.
"I'm happy he's going you know, it took a little while," Adams quipped.
"I actually had a conversation with the comptroller this morning when he was on his way down, to make sure he had everything that he needs," Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom said. "So I'm very excited that he's down there."
Adams was supposed to meet with White House officials on the migrant crisis earlier this month but left the meeting as it was starting when news broke that the FBI was raiding the home of his top campaign fundraiser as part of their investigation looking into whether the Turkish government allegedly benefited from donating to his 2021 mayoral campaign.
A new meeting is supposed to be scheduled but hasn’t happened yet.
The city has helped file more than 16,000 asylum claims, work authorization papers and TPS forms to date. Yet so far, according to city officials, the federal government has only approved around 2200 work authorization forms.
"We need to move faster getting work permits," Adams said. "That is the top of the agenda."
In the meantime, hundreds of migrants have been lining up outside the East Village reticketing center in the freezing temperatures waiting to get a shelter bed after their 30 or 60 day shelter limit stay is up.
Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom says people shouldn’t be surprised. They have been warning about this scenario for months.
"We're running out of staff, we're running out of money, we're running out of space," Williams-Isom said. "I just keep on saying the same thing over and over again."
"When you reach capacity, you reach capacity," Adams said.
The city is also putting together a new Resettlement Working Group which consists of city officials, immigration and non-profit organizations that will strategize on how to move migrants to cities and states outside of New York, in absence of a federal decompression plan.