New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that the city has provided shelter and care for more than 101,200 asylum seekers that have arrived in the five boroughs since April 2022.
“With more than 101,200 asylum seekers arriving in New York City and asking for shelter, our city has now provided shelter and care for more migrants since last year than there are people in Albany,” said Mayor Adams. “Our team of thousands of dedicated public servants are working around the clock in the absence of sufficient state and federal support and have pulled off miracles. They have stretched this city’s compassion and capacity beyond imagination, and it is thanks to their efforts that no asylum-seeking families with children have slept on our streets. But, quite honestly, while our compassion is limitless, our resources are not, and we are out of miracles. We are grateful for the help we’ve received to this point from our partners in Albany and Washington, DC, but the fact remains that we need more. We need our federal and state partners to ensure that their efforts match the magnitude of this moment. This is a national crisis that demands solutions that extend beyond our city, and New York City cannot continue to manage largely on our own.”
As of August 13, 2023, more than 101,200 asylum seekers have come through New York City’s shelter system, and over 58,500 remain in New York City’s care. New York City’s total shelter population currently sits at 110,200 — more than double what it was when Mayor Adams took office — when including longtime unhoused New Yorkers. In the past week alone, more than 2,700 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City.
In a citywide address last week, Mayor Adams laid out an updated forecast for how much the asylum seeker crisis could cost New York City without increased state and federal support and if circumstances do not change. New York City has already spent over $1.73 billion through the end of July and anticipates spending over $4.7 billion in the current fiscal year. Over three fiscal years, the city has the potential to spend upwards of $12 billion on this crisis if circumstances do not change.
New York City today also reiterated clear steps the state can take to support the city, including, among others:
- Implementing a statewide decompression strategy to ensure each county is doing its part to assist with this humanitarian crisis,
- Increasing the number of state-run and state-provided sites, and
- Providing additional funding to help the city with the costs already incurred by the crisis.
The city also reiterated its asks to the federal government to help manage this crisis, including, among others:
- Expediting work authorizations for asylum seekers so they can more expeditiously secure employment,
- Declaring a state of emergency to manage the crisis at the border,
- Providing more federal reimbursement for costs incurred by the city, and
- Implementing a federal decompression strategy to ensure the flow of asylum seeker arrivals is more fairly distributed.
Since this humanitarian crisis began, the city has taken fast and urgent action — opening more than 200 emergency shelters, including 14 large-scale humanitarian relief centers already, with two more relief centers set to open in the coming weeks. The city has also stood up navigation centers to connect asylum seekers with critical resources; enrolled thousands of children in public schools through Project Open Arms; and launched the Asylum Application Help Center, which has already helped submit more than 2,200 applications for asylum. Earlier this spring, the city released “The Road Forward: A Blueprint to Address New York City’s Response to the Asylum Seeker Crisis,” detailing how the city will continue to manage the influx of asylum seekers and advocate for support from federal and state partners.