NYC dumping more money into migrant crisis than any other US hotspot

By Jacob Geanous and Matthew Sedacca
Published Sep. 16, 2023, 10:27 a.m. ET

The Big Apple took in more migrants than anywhere else in the country since last spring, and city taxpayers are on course to spend an astronomical $40,000 per migrant — far more than any of the top five cities where asylum seekers land, data analyzed by The Post shows.

Between last April through the end of July 2023, over 125,000 migrants have headed for the five boroughs, according to data on the zip codes where migrants told U.S. Customs and Border Protection they plan to settle.

The stats are tracked by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonprofit at Syracuse University.

That number eclipses the 110,000 tally Mayor Eric Adams announced this week.

So far this fiscal year there have been an average of 9,091 migrants settling in the city per month, with the most — 15,145, — in May.
Adams estimates the crisis will cost the city a staggering $5 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

He’s ordered all agencies to come up with 5% to 15% in cost cuts to deal with it.

Chinese migrants wait in line for clothing, furnishings and other goods. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Recently arrived migrants sit on cots and the floor of a makeshift shelter operated by the city at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. If New York City continues receiving asylum seekers and refugees at the average rate, taxpayers will shell out just under $40,000 per migrant.

“To put it in perspective how screwed New Yorkers are, we are spending more on the migrants than the entire budget of the city of Boston,” said City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island).”We can man every public school, firehouse, and police car and pave every pothole in Boston for what we’re shelling out for this asinine concept of open borders and sanctuary cities.”

The Big Apple is expected to pay about four times more on the crisis this year than the entire city budget of Miami — which has seen 69,038 migrants through the end of July, the second-largest influx of asylum seekers in the nation, data show.

Just over 62,000 migrants have settled in Los Angeles since last April, according to immigration court records. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images[

Last month, Adams said that the city was spending about $300 million a month on the crisis, which is more than the $256 million Chicago — the destination of choice for just under 40,000 migrants — plans to spend by the end of the year, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Adams, who said the crisis could cost $12 billion over the next three years while warning of an impending “financial tsunami,” and other local pols said the massive bill will soon put the city in a dire crisis.

“Something does have to give and it’s going to be our budget,” AssemblymanSam Pirozzolo (R-Staten Island) said. ” I got a notice from the Department of Transportation today that parking meter rates are going to skyrocket in affluent neighborhoods, to as much as $5.50 for the first hour and to $9 for the second.

“I guess we have to pay for this somehow,” he added. “But our budget is not built to absorb a $12 billion giveaway with no end in sight.”

By comparison, in Los Angeles, where just over 62,000 migrants have settled since last April, $163 million has been budgeted for immigrant programs, according to the nonprofit advocacy agency Immigrants Are LA.

Houston, the fourth most popular destination for migrants since April with nearly 44,000 arrivals, did not respond to requests from The Post for an estimated yearly price tag, although its entire city budget of $5.7 billion is comparable to the amount New York City plans to just spend on migrants.

“It’s unsustainable for our agencies,” Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Queens) said. “It’s unsustainable fiscally and it’s unsustainable for our communities and our taxpayers to bear the brunt of it. It’s unfair and everyone talks about equity. There’s no equity here.”

Many say New York City has made its own bed, with its sanctuary city status and its 1980s-era “right to shelter” law, which means New York houses and feeds anyone who asks. Late Mayor Ed Koch laid the groundwork for the law in 1981 to help alleviate the homeless problem.

In May, Mayor Adams sought to suspend the “right to shelter” law, citing “already overextended” city resources, but it has remained in place.

Migrants wait in line to apply for federal services. Seth Gottfried

Some say the city’s bottomless hospitality has created the crisis.

“We’re opening up shelters for them, giving them places to stay, hotel rooms, It’s kind of the perfect storm where people want to come here,” said Gadi Zohar, managing partner of the immigration law firm Zohar Law, adding that New York’s melting-pot makeup also draws immigrants.

“It’s not something that you can throw money at,” he said. “We need to make sure the system works properly so that everything can go as best as it can.”