The move comes after a record number of migrants crossed the U.S. southern border in 2022 with no sign of the stream letting up in 2023. The vast numbers have led southern state governors to bus migrants to northern self-declared sanctuary cities in the north.
Under the two-year plan, up to 50 houses of worship will provide overnight accommodation for up to 19 single adult men at each location. The normal activities of these spaces will continue during the day, while the city plans to establish five “daytime centers” for additional programming.
“As we continue to tackle this humanitarian crisis, I’m proud that through this new partnership with New York Disaster Interfaith Services, New York City’s faith community will be able to provide shelter to asylum-seekers in need at houses of worship throughout the five boroughs,” Adams said in a statement on Monday.
The partnership plans to expand with Adams saying one goal is to “connect asylum seekers with local communities.”
When the churches are full, Adams said “the next step” includes moving migrants into the spare bedrooms of New Yorkers.
Adams said the residents will be paid to house the illegal migrants. “There are residents who are suffering right now because of economic challenges. They have spare rooms,” Adams said.
The mayor has angered New York county authorities by busing illegal immigrants from the city to other parts of the state without notification—Adams has criticized the governors of Southern border states for similarly sending illegal immigrants to his city. The county authorities have demanded that Adams immediately cease his operations.
Adams has said the entire state should participate in a “decompression strategy.” Several New York counties have already declared states of emergency in an attempt to block the mayor’s efforts.
Adams criticized the White House last month, signaling a split in party ranks. “The president and the White House have failed this city,” he said, adding that the state’s budget could not handle the crisis and blamed the Biden administration for turning “its back on New York City.”
According to government data, New York state ranks among the top ten states in terms of highest unemployment rates, with a labor participation rate of 60.8 percent.
Over 5 million illegal immigrants have crossed into the United States since Biden took office.
“This influx of asylum seekers is a serious crisis, one that New York City is facing largely on our own. It’s unfair and it’s not right that New York is going through this,” Adams said.
Adams had not previously spoken out on behalf of southern states who primarily bore earlier migrant surges alone.
–Metro Voice and wire services