NEW YORK (PIX11) — A new report found the asylum seeker crisis could cost New York City a lot less than expected — possibly $1.5 billion less.
The new report from the NYC Independent Budget Office could be huge in terms of what it means for this year’s city budget and hiring more workers to pick up garbage, staff schools and put out fires.
“These numbers are bloated so he can justify his Republican austerity budget cuts,” said Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron of the current migrant cost estimates by Mayor Eric Adams.
Adams said because of more than $4 billion in anticipated migrant costs, all city agencies must find savings by not filling vacant positions, and insisting his plan will not harm city services especially essential ones like education and firefighting.
“We can take care of unions, we can take care of asylum-seekers, we can also take care of all of the agencies, this will hurt services, do not let him fool you into thinking this will hurt services, it’s absurd,” Barron said.
The New York City Independent Budget Office analysis suggested the city will spend $2.7 billion on the low end and $3.7 billion on the high end.
Both numbers are well lower than Adams’ estimate of $4.3 billion.
Officials at the IBO told PIX11 News they understand the migrant crisis is a fluid situation, but said this is an attempt to give an honest range of what could happen.
Still, Adams’ office was quick to dismiss the report, with his Press Secretary writing:
“This is not a serious estimate of the city’s skyrocketing asylum seeker costs, and is consistent with IBO’s pattern of providing unrealistically low-cost estimates.”
He also pointed out that the city could see even more migrants with immigration restrictions known as Title 42 expiring.
The IBO said next Monday it will have a more detailed analysis of all the city’s finances, including the asylum seeker costs.