Liberal mayors push Biden for emergency declaration, additional funding to deal with migrant crisis

A coalition of liberal mayors renewed calls for the federal government to declare a federal emergency over the ongoing migrant crisis that has reached their cities and left them overwhelmed and out of capacity to shelter further arrivals.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston held a virtual press conference calling for more action from the federal government. 

“As temperatures drop in New York City, Chicago, Denver and other impacted cities, we are calling for the federal declaration of emergency, financial support and a national resettlement strategy,” Adams said.


“Our cities have reached a point where we are either close to capacity or nearly out of room without significant intervention from the federal government,” Johnson said. “This mission will not be sustained.”

Johnston, meanwhile, said that migrants getting court dates are receiving them as late as 2027, while they cannot work in many cases as they wait for work authorization. He emphasized the need for expedited work permits, and also stressed the financial situation Denver is facing.

“We’re looking at about $160 million of potential costs going into next year’s budget. That’s almost 10% of our entire city budget. That’s a massive impact for us,” the Denver mayor said.

The coalition has previously called for an additional $5 billion in help from the federal government. The White House has requested around $1.4 billion for help for communities across the country in its supplemental funding request, but that is being held up in Congress amid calls for more asylum limits from Republicans.

The mayors have repeatedly hammered the administration over the crisis as they face their own political pressures at home. Adams recently slashed budgets for education and policing in order to cope with the costs of the crisis, and has warned it could “destroy” the city if it continues. New York City says it has received over 160,000 migrants since last year.


The administration has pointed to actions it has taken to help communities, including more than $1 billion in grant funding, as well as additional efforts to give migrants work permits and speed up asylum requests.

“This year, the Biden-Harris Administration, in collaboration with the states and cities across the country, launched a one-stop-shop work authorization and Temporary Protected Status clinics to help eligible non-citizens get work permits and decompress the respective shelter systems. To date, these clinics have served approximately 10,000 individuals and thanks to USCIS’ efforts, the median processing time for work permit applications is 30 days,” a White House spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Thursday. 

“President Biden is committed to addressing this problem, that’s why he submitted a supplemental funding request to Congress which includes additional resources to secure the border with more law enforcement, more grant funding for jurisdictions hosting migrants, and funding to accelerate the processing of work permits for eligible noncitizens,” the spokesperson said.

The mayors also took aim at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has bussed and transported tens of thousands of migrants to their cities since last year. Adams announced a new executive order limiting buses to certain time of the day and arrival points, while also requiring buses to give 32 hours’ notice.


“I’m proud to be here with my fellow mayors to call on the federal government to do their part with one voice and to tell Texas Gov. Abbott to stop the games and use of migrants as political pawns,” Adams said.

But Abbott has hit back at the criticism he has faced, saying he is transporting migrants to cities that tout their “sanctuary” status, and is doing so to relieve overwhelmed border communities. In the last week, he has begun flying migrants to both Chicago and New York City.

“The hypocrisy of Mayor Adams is astounding. Mayor Adams had touted New York City’s self-declared sanctuary city status, then sent his own buses of migrants out to small towns in New York. Texas has only transported about 32,000 migrants to New York City, while President Biden has been flying planeloads of migrants all around the country and oftentimes in the cover of night,” spokesperson Renae Eze said. 

“With millions of residents, New York is only dealing with a fraction of what our small border communities deal with on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “Until President Biden steps up and does his job to secure the border, Texas will continue bussing migrants to sanctuary cities to help our local partners respond to this Biden-made crisis.”

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