Oct 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

NYC Mayor Adams declares state of emergency over migrant buses

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaking in September 2022.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaking in September 2022. Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) declared a state of emergency on Friday to respond to migrants arriving in the city on buses primarily from Texas.

Why it matters: Adams said at least 17,000 asylum seekers have been bused to New York City from other parts of the country since April and claimed that many of the people didn't know where they were going when they boarded the buses.

As part of the state of emergency, Adams issued an executive order that directs all relevant city agencies to coordinate their efforts to respond to the asylum seeker humanitarian crisis and build emergency response and relief centers around the city.

  • The city has received an average of five to six buses per day since September, Adams said, with at least nine arriving on Thursday.
  • New York City expects to spend $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year on helping the asylum seekers find long-term shelter and health care, he added.

What he's saying: "This is a humanitarian crisis that started with violence and instability in South America, and it is being accelerated by American political dynamics," Adams said.

  • "The majority are adults, who cannot legally work in this country. Many are families with school-age children. Some are in desperate need of serious medical care," he added.
  • "We have not asked for this. There was never any agreement to take on the job of supporting thousands of asylum seekers. This responsibility was simply handed to us without warning as buses began showing up."
  • "We're going to do what we have to do in New York, but we do need help to deal with this crisis that we're facing."

The big picture: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican governors started sending migrants to Democrat-led cities as part of a protest against the Biden Administration's border policies.

  • Texas had spent more than $12 million sending migrants to New York and the District of Columbia as of the end of August.
  • Adams' office recently attempted to contact Abbott's office to coordinate Texas’ plans to bus migrants to the city, though those efforts were rebuffed, according to the Texas Tribune.
  • Adams has previously criticized Abbott for organizing the buses, saying he is using "innocent people as political pawns to manufacture a crisis."

Go deeper: Where GOP governors are transporting migrants

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details throughout.

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