Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“Mayor Adams has become unbelievably skilled at speaking out of both sides of his mouth. How can we be on the brink of a fiscal crisis and yet have $8.3 billion for a rainy day fund? It makes no sense. Right now, thousands of New Yorkers are struggling with soaring rents, the increasing price of groceries, and just making ends meet. Instead of providing real solutions for all New York’s families, the Mayor is continuing to sow division among New Yorkers by blaming his administration’s fiscal failures on the asylum seekers who are simply in pursuit of safety from violence and persecution as they are legally entitled to do.
Executive budgets are about choices —the Mayor’s choices have made clear that his priority is ensuring that the city serves the interest of the ultra-wealthy, no matter the cost to every day working New Yorkers. The Mayor and City Council must step up to deliver a budget that will uplift every single New Yorker in their time of need, which includes investing $3 million for English Language Learner (ELL) Transfer School Programs; $75 million to hire additional social workers to support the needs of students, especially newcomer asylum seekers; renewed funding for legal services programs including $31.1 million for ActionNYC and Admin IOI (Immigrant Opportunity Initiative); and $10 million for an emergency immigration legal services program for asylum seekers. We reject the Mayor’s continued calls for austerity and demand a budget that ensures every New Yorker has equal opportunity to raise their families and thrive in New York City no matter their income level or legal status.”