(The Center Square) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams is blaming the Biden administration’s inaction on the migrant crisis for the city’s looming budget cuts.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Brooklyn on Monday, Adams blasted the federal government for not doing enough to help the city cover the cost of caring for tens of thousands of migrants who arrived in the Big Apple amid a historic surge of immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“DC has abandoned us, and they need to be paying their cost to this national problem,” the Democrat said in fiery remarks. “New York City should not be going through this.”
Last week, Adams announced that the city is seeking $4 billion in “painful” budget reductions over the next year that he says will reduce funding across the board for city departments and agencies, including police, fire and sanitation services. These cuts go into effect immediately.
New York has taken in more than 142,000 migrants over the past year, and Adams blames this crisis for these cuts. Adams has said without additional federal aid, the city will be forced to implement additional cost-reduction measures.
The Adams administration also plans to make about 20% cuts to migrant services but said much of that cost-cutting will involve reducing staff positions.
New York City has already spent an estimated $1.5 billion on migrant housing, food and other costs for the fiscal year that runs through June 30, according to the Adams administration. The city expects to drop $11 billion over the next two fiscal years unless it gets more federal assistance.
The Democratic-controlled New York City Council, which will take up the budget plan this week, has pushed back on Adams’s claims that the budget gaps are due to the migrant crisis, pointing to dwindling federal stimulus money and the ongoing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adams told those who attended Monday’s town hall meeting that the federal government’s inaction on the migrant crisis is “unfair” to the city’s taxpayers, whom he said will bear the brunt of the budget cuts. He urged them to help pressure the Biden administration to provide more relief for the city.
“I tell people all the time when they stop me on the subway system, ‘Don’t yell at me, yell at DC,'” Adams said in his remarks. “We deserve better as a city.”