New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency on Friday to address a mass influx of migrants forced on the US's largest city by Republican state governors.
Adams said the city is now in a "crisis situation" with over 61,000 people in New York City shelters, including more than 17,000 "asylum seekers who have been bussed in over the past few months from other parts of the country."
The city is slated to surpass the highest number of people in its shelters ever recorded once asylum seekers who arrived in the city on Friday are counted.
"This is a humanitarian crisis that started with violence and instability in South America, and it is being accelerated by American political dynamics. Thousands of asylum seekers have been bussed into New York City, and simply dropped off without notice, coordination or care. And more are arriving every day," he said in televised remarks.
"This crisis is not of our own making, but one that will effect everyone in this city now and in the months ahead," he added.
About five to six buses chartered by Republican governors have been arriving in New York City each day with asylum seekers, many of whom arrive without knowledge of where they are being sent or what awaits them "at the end of the line," Adams said. At least nine buses arrived on Thursday.
The mass influx "is straining the limits of our ability to provide care for New Yorkers in need," the mayor said, "and it is burning through our city's budget." The city estimates it will spend up to $1 billion to address the problem within the current fiscal year, which ends in September 2023.
"A city recovering from an ongoing global pandemic is being overwhelmed by a humanitarian crisis made by human hands," he said. "We are at the edge of the precipice. We need serious partnership, and realistic solutions."
Adams appealed to the Biden administration and the New York state government to quickly render assistance. In particular, he called on the federal government to pass legislation that would allow asylum seekers to work legally in the country, and urged Congress to pass emergency financial legislation and institute long-awaited immigration reform.