NYIC Demands Mayor Adams Stop Scapegoating Asylum Seekers and Include Immigrant New Yorkers in the FY24 Budget

New York, NY—Yesterday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams released the City’s preliminary budget for fiscal year 2024, with relatively little investment made to support immigrant New Yorkers to fully integrate and thrive in New York City. Today, his Administration asked the State to commit funding to support asylum seekers, in addition to their calls to the Federal government. In that request, the Administration continued to place blame for the City’s budget woes on the estimated 40,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in NYC since last spring.

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:

“We are shocked to see immigrants and asylum seekers excluded from Mayor Adam’s vision for New York City, especially after he espoused for much of last year that the city will always be welcoming to immigrants. Instead, Mayor Adams has released a budget that delivers the bare minimum to low-income families, and does little to ensure our newest arrivals are able to fully integrate and thrive. To rebuild our economy and invest in the future of our young people, the Mayor along with the NYC Council must include funding and services for all immigrants and New Yorkers, including recent arrivals and asylum seekers in the final budget. This includes fully investing in the English Language Learner (ELL) Transfer Schools Program, which provides bilingual social workers, robust training for school-based staff, and community-based wrap-around support for older newcomer youth, many of whom have endured unimaginable trauma during their journeys to New York. New York City must also prioritize the hiring of additional social workers in our public school system at competitive rates to support the needs of every New York student, and give them a fighting chance to fully recover from the hardships of the last two years. 

“Scapegoating immigrants for the austerity measures in his budget is shameful and inaccurate, given that our most recent arrivals account for less than 1% of New York City’s $103 billion budget, according to the Mayor’s own math. There is no doubt that our State and Federal governments bear some responsibility in helping the city provide for our newest arrivals, and we add our voices to the Mayor’s call for greater support from them. However, the Mayor cannot shirk responsibility for his budget choices and management of the situation. By excluding our newest neighbors from his budget, he just told tens of thousands of immigrant New Yorkers that they don’t matter. Is that really what he intended to say with this budget? We call on the Mayor, Speaker Adams and the NYC Council to account for newcomer asylum seekers, while supporting and restoring programs that support them and all New Yorkers."