1 of 2 | Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, looks on as.House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY, speaks outside the Oval Office after speaking with President Joe Biden on debt ceiling negotiations at the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
June 7 (UPI) -- Leading Democrats announced Wednesday that FEMA will provide a $104.6 million grant package to support asylum seekers in New York City.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced the additional grant funding through the newly established federal Shelter and Services Program. The contribution to New York represents about 30 percent of the program's funding, according to Politico.
There reportedly are an estimated 47,000 migrants receiving assistance in the city. Jeffries and Schumer said in a joint statement that New York City has been "disproportionately challenged" by the flow of asylum seekers into the United States.
"When we negotiated these funds into the budget for the FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program and the new Shelter Services Program, it was with New York City's needs front and center -- and the share of funding of this tranche reflects that intent," the statement reads.
"Today's funds represent a strong step in the right direction -- which better recognizes and rewards New York City's unique challenge."
Anne Williams-Isom, deputy mayor for health and human services in New York, said during a press briefing that the city has spent more than $1.2 billion and expects to spend more than $4.3 billion through the next year to address the surge of asylum seekers. She said about 2,100 migrants have arrived in the last week and more than 74,000 have come through the city's intake center since last spring.
New York has been one of the destinations that Republican governors have targeted to send migrants from their own states. Last fall, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved shipping migrants to Democrat-led cities without coordinating resources for them upon their arrival.
New York Mayor Eric Adams was critical of Abbott for sending buses full of migrants to New York without notice, adding hours of travel to the stresses the migrants were already facing.
"Many of the asylum seekers are coping with the effects of trauma and exhaustion, as well as other physical and mental health concerns," Adams' executive order stated. "The stress on the asylum seekers has been compounded by the additional days of travel to New York City, during which time it has been reported that many have been afforded limited food and water."
In response, New York City opened dozens more shelters and Adams directed the city's emergency management system to coordinate with area health systems to establish temporary "Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers."