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BREAKING: New York City’s mayor declares state of emergency over “migrant crisis”



Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency for New York City on Friday as the city struggles to respond to an influx of tens of thousands of migrants from Latin America..

Mr. Adams said in a speech at City Hall that the city was preparing to spend $1 billion on its response and called for federal and state funding to help pay for housing and services for the busloads of migrants who have strained the city’s homeless shelter system.

“We need help, and we need it now,” Mr. Adams said.

Mr. Adams, a Democrat who took office in January, said the city was moving forward with plans to build a tent intake center on Randalls Island, in the East River just off Manhattan. City officials are also negotiating with cruise ship companies to house migrants on board a ship.

Mr. Adams said that the city has been overwhelmed by the roughly 17,000 migrants who have arrived since April and that he expected as many as 100,000 to arrive eventually. At least nine more buses arrived on Thursday.

The city had set up 42 emergency shelters and enrolled 5,000 children in schools, the mayor said. But he said the city urgently needed more help to provide services to migrants.

Declaring a state of emergency would allow city officials to move more quickly to provide services, Mr. Adams said. He said the city was also looking for ways to send some migrants to other cities.

“A city recovering from an ongoing global pandemic is being overwhelmed by a humanitarian crisis,” he said, adding that New York was “on the edge of a precipice.”

Mr. Adams has received criticism over his response to the crisis from homeless advocates and City Council members who disagree with efforts to house migrants in tents or on ships. They have called for empty hotels to be used and for shelter residents to be moved into permanent housing as quickly as possible.

City officials are examining housing up to 2,700 migrants on a cruise ship and in discussions with three cruise companies, including Carnival Cruise Line, Frank Carone, the mayor’s chief of staff, said in a brief interview at City Hall. The other two companies are Norwegian Cruise Line and Tallink, which is housing Ukrainian refugees in Estonia.

City officials are considering different sites to dock a cruise ship, including a pier in Staten Island called Homeport that is between St. George Ferry Terminal and the Verrazano Bridge.

Mr. Adams has criticized Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas for failing to coordinate migrant arrivals with his administration and called on him on Friday to quit sending buses to New York and to spread the burden to other cities.

“New Yorkers are angry,” Mr. Adams said. “I am angry too. We have not asked for this.”

The mayor’s repeated calls for federal and state assistance are also putting pressure on President Biden and Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York, just a month before the November elections.

Asked if he was putting Mr. Biden and Ms. Hochul in a difficult position, Mr. Adams said “No, not at all.”

Mr. Adams said he had spoken to Mr. Biden recently about the crisis and that Mr. Biden and Ms. Hochul understood the challenges that the city is facing.

“They understand that this is an urgent situation and New York needs help,” the mayor said.

Angelo Roefaro, a spokesman for Senator Chuck Schumer, said that his office was “in close communication with the Adams team and working with the New York delegation to secure resources and to get the Biden administration to do all it can to be helpful.”

On Friday, city officials said that roughly a third of migrants arriving in the city want to go to other destinations, including many Venezuelan immigrants who have relatives or friends in Florida. Mr. Adams said the city is working to transport those migrants to other cities.

The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless released a statement saying that they agreed with the mayor that the city needs additional state and federal support, but that the city’s homelessness crisis was many years in the making.

“The reason that the shelter census is at an all-time high is not solely because of an influx of asylum seekers,” the groups said. “It is the city’s historic shameful failure to adequately invest in affordable housing that has continued to fuel mass homelessness.”

The groups also called on the city to “abandon its plan to construct tent cities, and to instead focus on high-quality indoor shelter options and permanent housing

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