City of New York, NY

06/01/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/01/2023 14:04

Transcript: Mayor Adams Appears on ABC's 'GMA3'

June 1, 2023

Eva Pilgrim: Welcome back. The growing migrant crisis is pushing cities to the brink. Title 42, which allowed the US to quickly turn away migrants, expired on May 11th, and the resulting surge of migrants entering the country has put a strain on many cities trying to house them.

DeMarco Morgan: And right here, New York officials say more than 53,000 migrants have entered New York City's shelter system in the past year. And here to discuss the migrant crisis and his plans to address it is New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Mayor, welcome back and good to have you here.

Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you. Thank you. And actually, we have over 90,000 people in our care. This included the migrants, and over 70,000 have come into the city, a little over 45,000 are still in our care. So this is an awesome obligation. And when you look at what I inherited, January 1st, 2022, was nowhere near these numbers.

Morgan: You say the crisis is destroying the city. How bad is it?

Mayor Adams: Well, it's the economic strain on the city. We took about $4.3 billion. We spent over $1 billion dollars already. We only received about $40 million from FEMA. And the real crisis of what FEMA did is that the bordering states, some received more than what we did, and they're using the money to ship migrants to New York. So a lot of these states, it's just a pass-through, and it's going to impact every area of our city. When we look at the... over a hundred and something hotels we've opened, HERRCs we've opened, feed, food, clothing, education, because they are not allowed to work, and that's all they want to do, they want to work and the federal government needs to give them the obligation to do so.

Pilgrim: You mentioned the busing. So Texas Governor has been busing migrants all across the country to Democratic led cities, including here in New York. New York is now busing to other parts of New York to upstate. One county executive said it's been, "organized chaos." What's your response and what's the plan as we go forward?

Mayor Adams: Well, when you look at what happens across the country, and I visited El Paso and I visited other cities, no one is doing it like New York. And so if anyone that states bringing 70,000 people to a city, and you don't see people sleeping on the streets, you don't see people going without the necessities that they deserve, it's not organized chaos, it's organized structure dealing with the humanitarian crisis. What we are saying to our friends upstate is that this is a state obligation. New York is the economic engine of this state and country. Whenever there's a municipality outside New York City that's in trouble, New York City is paying the large amount of tax dollars. It is time for all of us to step up with this humanitarian crisis that's in our state. New York City's part of the state.

Morgan: Now, city officials say more than half of the city's shelter system is filled with migrants. You took a lot of heat for placing migrants in public school gyms, and you had to scrap that plan. What's next?

Mayor Adams: Well, we didn't scrap the plan, and we didn't put them into public school gyms as it was portrayed. There are 20 standalone gyms that are not inside school buildings. We identified those 20 standalone gyms, and say we're going to use them as respite centers, not long term care, because there's… One week we had 5,000 people that arrived at the city in one week. And so we have to make sure that when you have that heavy influx, where are you going to put people in the meantime. As the state gave us the Lincoln Correctional Facility, just the thought that we have to open all of these new places, but this is how you manage a crisis. If you had a hurricane to hit this shore, you would be managing, using school buildings, respite centers. That's the crisis, we're getting a hurricane every week, and I must manage this crisis the right way.

Pilgrim: Over the weekend, New York City's Homeless Bill of Rights became law. How is that going to affect the housing crisis going forward?

Mayor Adams: Not at all. There was nothing really changed. They codified into the city council law, but it's the same. Some people tried to depict it as that now you could have shelters and tents on our streets. Nope, that's not happening. We're not going to be in a city where you're going to see encampments and tents. If people want to sleep on this street, you have the right to do so. That has always been in place, but we are not going to go backwards as we're seeing in some municipalities, where you see these tents in cities, you see people in encampments on our subway system. I committed to New Yorkers, we're going to rid those encampments off our train system. You don't see them there. We're removing them off our streets. People need to be in care and services for wraparound services, and I'm not going to allow this city to go backwards.

Morgan: All right, you're a busy man. Thanks for always making time for us.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Morgan: We appreciate it.

Mayor Adams: Good to see you.

Morgan: Good to see you.