NYC Mayor Eric Adams Releases New Blueprint to Handle Surge of Asylum Seekers

Mayor Adams releases new blueprint regarding asylum seekers

NEW YORK, New York – New City Mayor Eric Adams has released a document outlining the next phase of the city’s response to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis resulting from the surge of asylum seekers arriving in the five boroughs since last year.

The number of asylum seekers arriving here since last April, has topped 50,000, with more than 30,000 currently in the city’s care.

Adams announced he will create the Office of Asylum Seeker Operations (OASO) to focus solely on coordinating the city’s continued response with a focus on resettlement and legal services, as well as a new 24/7 arrival center for asylum seekers.

Many of the asylum seekers are from Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela.

The document titled “The Road Forward: Blueprint to Address New York City’s Response to the Asylum Seeker Crisis,”  also outlines new strategies the city will pilot to train asylum seekers for employment.

It includes a programme with houses of worship to provide asylum seekers with a place to stay and connection to services, in addition to a partnership with the State University of New York (SUNY) Sullivan to provide job training and housing for asylum seekers as they await work authorization.

The mayor said the city will continue to advocate for the state and federal governments to provide additional financial and operational support to better manage the asylum seeker crisis moving forward.

“Over the past year, New York City has faced an unprecedented humanitarian crisis caused by global forces beyond our control. We have moved mountains to help the tens of thousands who arrived as our shelter population has increased at a dramatic rate.

“As we continue to respond, I’m proud to announce, ‘The Road Forward,’ our blueprint to address the asylum seeker crisis and outline the work that lies ahead. New Yorkers know that the asylum seeker of today is the citizen, the leader, and the innovator of tomorrow, and I’m proud that New York City is leading the way, turning a crisis into an opportunity for progress for the entire country.”

Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright said the asylum seeker crisis has challenged “so many of us in various ways,”and the city’s response has been and continues to be laden with care and compassion.

“Our blueprint is a plan for how we will move forward together, and I implore everyone at all levels to help however you can. This affects us all, and together is how we can best navigate this crisis.”

Adams said New York City has stepped up throughout this crisis, handling an unprecedented arrival of asylum seekers, largely on its own.

Last year, the city launched a swift, coordinated multi-agency effort to provide basic needs and services to the tens of thousands of asylum seekers arriving, providing shelter, food, clothing, access to health care, legal information, education, and more.

Led by the newly created OASO, Adams said New York City will transition from an emergency response-approach to a steady state-approach in an effort to continue managing the response to the unprecedented asylum seeker crisis.

He said OASO will manage a new, centralized 24/7 arrival center that will replace the Port Authority as a primary destination for asylum seekers when they arrive.

“This will enable experienced community-based providers that have been working around the clock on the ground to work in coordination more closely,” the mayor said, adding that OASO will also oversee inter-agency coordination, manage advocacy to state and federal governments, and lead the following initiatives to help newly arrived asylum seekers chart a course towards self-sufficiency and long-term resettlement.

Adams said the city will explore potential short- and long-term strategies regarding housing, including partnerships with religious institutions and exploring innovative ways to finance new affordable housing.

He said the city is also launching an innovative pilot with The Center for Discovery and SUNY Sullivan to offer 100 asylum seekers the opportunity to live at the SUNY Sullivan campus and receive workforce training as they move through the federal work authorization process.

In addition, the mayor said the city will engage national non-profits and houses of worship to offer asylum seekers a wider array of relocation choices, including pre-vetted cities and municipalities that welcome asylum seekers.