New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently expressed her concerns regarding the escalating immigration issue in New York City. Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Gov. Hochul emphasized the need for stricter border controls, stating that the “country’s border is too open right now.”
She highlighted the influx of individuals entering the U.S. under the pretext of seeking asylum, many of whom eventually find their way to New York City’s streets. The city has witnessed a significant rise in illegal immigrants, with recent figures suggesting that over 125,000 have arrived in the past year. A significant portion of these individuals, approximately 60,000, are currently housed in the city’s shelter system, leading to substantial financial implications.
Gov. Hochul, referencing the iconic Statue of Liberty, acknowledged New York’s historical role as a welcoming haven for immigrants. However, she stressed the need for moderation, urging Congress to implement stricter border controls. She criticized the ongoing discussions about reducing Border Patrol staff, emphasizing the need to bolster their numbers instead.
Echoing her previous sentiments shared with CNN, Gov. Hochul reiterated that New York City’s capacity to accommodate more illegal immigrants is stretched thin. The city grapples with challenges like housing and sanitation due to the surge in immigrants, primarily from the southern border.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has also expressed his concerns, stating that the city is nearing a breaking point. He highlighted the escalating costs associated with providing for asylum-seeking families, which currently averages $383 per night per family. With over 57,300 individuals under the city’s care, the daily expenditure is approximately $9.8 million, translating to nearly $3.6 billion annually. Projections suggest that these figures could rise to $6.1 billion by June 2025 if the situation remains unchanged.
Mayor Adams has called for additional support, emphasizing the financial strain the city is under. In August, Gov. Hochul reached out to President Joe Biden, seeking federal assistance. She requested expedited work authorizations for undocumented immigrants, financial support for the city and state, and the use of federal properties as temporary shelters. Additionally, she sought funding for the New York National Guard members assisting with the immigrant influx.
To address the immigration challenge, Gov. Hochul’s administration has set aside $1.5 billion in state funds and an additional $20 million to fast-track the processing of asylum seekers. In her communication with President Biden, Gov. Hochul highlighted the immense pressure on the city’s resources and the challenges posed to the city’s shelter system.