Some of the country’s bluest cities say they are filling up with illegal immigrants and need federal cash to help them accommodate everyone.
New York Mayor Eric Adams made his plea Tuesday. He said his city has had more than 2,800 “asylum seekers” entering homeless shelters in recent weeks.
“We are calling on the federal government to partner with New York City as we help asylum seekers navigate this process, and to provide financial and technical resources,” he said in a statement asking Uncle Sam for the handout.
The District of Columbia is also asking for help.
The city’s representative to Congress, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, announced emergency spending legislation Tuesday that she said will reimburse the District for handling the newcomers.
She blamed Texas and Arizona for the surge.
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The governors of those states, Greg Abbott in Texas and Doug Ducey in Arizona, have each orchestrated busing operations that have shipped a combined 6,200 illegal immigrants to the nation’s capital.
The migrants were among the hundreds of thousands who have been caught and released into border states this year.
Though the migrants were directly sent only to the District, Mr. Adams said in his statement that some of them are ending up in his city.
Mr. Ducey was unmoved by the complaints. He said East Coasters are experiencing a tiny fraction of what his state has been dealing with under President Biden.
“The president’s policies have placed overwhelming burdens on Arizona communities. It’s convenient that these liberal mayors are finally speaking up on this humanitarian crisis once it affects their communities,” he said on Twitter.
Mr. Abbott also took to Twitter to chide the mayors for complaining and said the solution lies with the president.
“It’s past time for Biden to do his job,” Mr. Abbott said.
At the White House, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration has heard the mayors’ demands and “we’re going to continue to look into their requests.”
She took shots at Mr. Ducey and Mr. Abbott.
“We believe it’s shameful that some governors are using migrants as a political tool,” she said.
Mr. Ducey replied that it was “shameful” for the White House to have ignored the Republican governors’ pleas for months, “yet somehow big city mayors have immediately caught the White House’s attention.”
Ms. Jean-Pierre’s predecessor, Jen Psaki, mocked the busing effort when Mr. Abbott announced it in April.
She pointed out that those being transported were doing so voluntarily — an indication that they would probably end up in the District. Now, thanks to Texas taxpayers, they are arriving faster.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser took a different tack Sunday by saying that some migrants are being “tricked” into boarding the buses.
A record number of migrants have been caught at the border under Mr. Biden. Customs and Border Protection has reported four straight months of more than 200,000 encounters.
The majority of those caught are quickly released. Most are turned loose in the border states where they have been nabbed.
Mr. Abbott began his busing program in early April. He said he wanted to share the pain with the nation’s capital. His office said Tuesday that more than 135 busloads, carrying more than 5,100 migrants, have reached the District.
Arizona, which started in late May, has sent 29 buses carrying 1,111 migrants.
Mr. Adams said he doesn’t question the illegal immigrants’ decision to go to New York. He said they are making claims of asylum that they have a right to lodge.
The asylum seekers, he said, are showing up at homeless shelters and the city has “both a moral — and legal — obligation” to deliver services to them. He said without federal help, the city may have to cut its level of service.
Ms. Bowser complained of migrants taking beds in the District’s homeless shelters.
Ironically, the two cities’ complaints may end up helping Texas and Arizona in their myriad court challenges to Mr. Biden’s immigration plans by making clear the effects of the border chaos rippling across the country.
That turns out to be a significant point of contention in arguments over whether judges should impose nationwide injunctions when ruling on Biden policies.