There are currently more undocumented migrants seeking asylum than homeless residents staying in New York City’s shelters, city officials said on Wednesday as the migrant crisis continues to grow to “unsustainable” numbers.
Currently, more than 50,000 migrants are being cared for by the city, said Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Ison during a briefing.
“You see from today’s numbers that we have reached a tipping point,” Williams-Isom said. “We now have more asylum seekers in our care than longtime New Yorkers … who were in our existing DHS system.”
“We all are facing a humanitarian crisis right here in the five boroughs,” she added.
The city has received more than 81,200 asylum seekers since the Spring of 2022, more than half of which are processed through the city’s intake system and placed under the care of the Big Apple. Currently, the city is housing 98,400 individuals in its shelters.
As a result, the city has opened 176 sites and 12 Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers hoping to accommodate the migrants as the city’s shelters run out of space for the large influx of people.
The city has transformed schools, cruise ship terminals, and hotels into shelters for asylum seekers. New York Mayor Eric Adams even suggested the possibility of compensating homeowners across the city for housing migrants in private residences.
On Tuesday, Adams announced that the city was building a dozen mega-shelters with capacity to house over 50,000 migrants.
“With over 50,000 asylum seekers currently in our care and a total of over 81,200 asking us for care since last spring, New York City continues to do more than any other city or level of government to address this national crisis,” said Adams in a statement.
New York City has already spent around $1.2 billion to address the migrant crisis in the city. However, it is expected to cost the city more than $4.2 billion by June of next year, according to city officials.