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Mayor Eric Adams advocates for increased state funding amid migrant crisis

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In a fervent plea before a joint legislative budget hearing in Albany on Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams of New York City emphasized the urgent need for additional state aid to address the escalating migrant crisis.

Adams stressed that New Yorkers are already bearing the brunt of supporting asylum seekers and emphasized the city’s precarious financial situation due to the strain. “Today we are asking the state to increase its commitment to 50% of our cost,” stated Adams during his testimony.

Adams called upon Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders to approve a revised funding split, proposing an increase of at least $400 million on top of Hochul’s existing $2.4 billion allocation within the proposed $233 billion budget. He underscored the importance of shared responsibility between New York City and the state in tackling the migrant crisis, stating, “It should not be all on the backs of New York City residents.”

Addressing concerns about public safety and law enforcement, particularly in the wake of a recent incident involving two police officers assaulted outside a migrant shelter in Times Square, Adams expressed openness to reconsidering the city’s strict limitations on cooperation with federal immigration authorities. He indicated a willingness to explore cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for individuals convicted of felony dangerous crimes, pending legal advice.

Despite calls from Republican lawmakers to revoke New York City’s sanctuary city status, Adams stood firm in support of maintaining the city’s policy, emphasizing its historical significance and the need for federal intervention in addressing abuses of the system. He affirmed his commitment to upholding sanctuary city policies while advocating for federal measures to address abuses and enforce deportation for offenders.

During the budget hearing, Adams faced resistance regarding his request to renew mayoral control over the city school system before the April 1 deadline. Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins indicated a preference for addressing this issue outside of the budget process, signaling potential hurdles for Adams’ proposal.

Following his testimony, Adams expressed satisfaction with his presentation, while some allies, such as state Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, voiced support for his efforts. Adams also held private discussions with Governor Hochul and legislative leaders before concluding his visit to Albany and returning to New York City.

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