Updated Oct 27, 2023 - Politics & Policy

NYC is offering migrants plane tickets to leave the city

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaking in Bogota, Colombia, on Oct. 7.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaking in Bogota, Colombia, on Oct. 7. Photo: Chepa Beltran/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

New York City has started offering migrants airplane tickets to destinations of their choosing in response to an increase of asylum seekers arriving in the city.

Why it matters: More than 130,600 people seeking refuge from humanitarian crises around the world have arrived in New York City since 2022. Mayor Eric Adams (D) has warned that the city is running out of space and resources to house them.

  • City officials have recently discussed giving migrants tents and creating encampments in parks, like Central Park and Prospect Park, and other outdoor spaces, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.
  • In recent weeks, the New York City Fire Department has closed multiple shelters for asylum seekers due to fire safety hazards, according to CBS News.

Details: A spokesperson for Adam said on Friday the city has set up a "reticketing center" where migrants can secure a plane ticket.

  • The city will increase efforts "to purchase tickets for migrants to help them take the next steps in their journeys."
  • "It helps us triage operations" for new arrivals at The Roosevelt Hotel, the spokesperson said, referring to a once-closed hotel that was reopened as a shelter for asylum seekers earlier this year.

Adams said on Thursday said that New York City and other major cities have taken in an exorbitant amount of migrants compared to other locations across the country.

  • He called on the federal government to implement a "decompression strategy."
  • "When people come across the border, we have 108,000 cities and villages — we should spread them out across the entire country, and not just New York, Chicago, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston," Adams said.
  • Adams has previously asked the Biden administration to declare a state of emergency in response to the influx and has warned that sheltering them could cost the city $12 billion over the next three fiscal years.

The big picture: Thousands of migrants were transported to New York City by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and other states in recent years.

Go deeper: Venezuelans surpass Mexicans crossing U.S. border

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from a spokesperson for Adams.

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