NEW YORK (PIX11) — The federal government says New York City could do a lot better in its efforts to house and feed the tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived to the city, according to a letter obtained by PIX11 News.
It comes as Mayor Eric Adams continues to say the federal government left the city to clean up its mess.
The finger pointing comes as recent protests against the continued effort to open more migrant housing, particularly on Staten Island.
Adams has for some time requested billions in reimbursement for New Yorkers, expedited working papers for the migrants, and help placing migrants around the country. But in the letter from Homeland Security, the federal government said it is New York City that could be doing around two dozen things better.
The letter highlights “… issues of authority, structure, personnel, and information flow … data collection, planning, case management, communications, and other aspects of day-to-day operations.”
“I have not read through the entire letter,” Adams said from an unrelated event in Sunset Park. “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. We’re going to continue to push for things that are important. Just think about it, 10,000 people a month, this is not sustainable.”
The letter does say it will allow migrant housing for 800 people at a hangar at JFK Airport and referenced 11 sites around the state it would also consider.
PIX11 News has learned many are well outside New York City, and it might be tough for convincing migrants to go to these places.
“If the plan is: let’s just find places in New York City to accommodate the migrants — that’s not a plan,” Adams said, adding that immigration reform, reimbursement and other measures were necessary.
The letter also said the federal government is working to streamline its effort to give asylum seekers working permits. However, there is no mention of granting migrants temporary protected status to cut through the red tape. The mayor and Gov. Kathy Hochul have been pleading for this.
“We need to give people the right to work,” said Adams, speaking from a city hiring hall event. “I say this over and over again, what is more anti-American, they’re not giving people the right to work.”
New York City now directly caring for nearly 60,000 migrants, with nearly 105,000 having come to town.