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Mayor Eric Adams on migrant crisis: NYC carrying "burden" of "national problem"

Full interview: NYC Mayor Eric Adams
Full interview: New York City Mayor Eric Adams on "Face the Nation," May 21, 2023 10:11

New York City Mayor Eric Adams believes his city is unfairly carrying the weight of caring for asylum seekers who cross the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that the responsibility should fall on more cities throughout the U.S. 

"When you look at the price tag, $30 million comes nowhere near what the city is paying for a national problem," he told "Face the Nation" on Sunday, referring to federal aid New York City is receiving for costs associated with shelters, food and health care for migrants. The city had asked for $350 million in federal aid. 

"We've spent over a billion dollars," he added. "We're projected to spend close to $4.3 billion, if not more." 

More than 70,000 migrants have come to New York City in recent months and 42,000 are still in city care, Adams said. 

Adams, a Democrat, made his first trip to the border as mayor in January, months after he issued an emergency declaration over migrant arrivals in New York. He said then that cities were being "undermined" by having to shoulder the costs of caring for migrants and called on federal leaders to find solutions to the issue. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams on "Face the Nation," May 21, 2023. CBS News

Adams announced earlier this month he would send migrants to upstate New York to house them in hotels, which was met with pushback from area officials. 

"We believe the entire state should participate in a decompression strategy," he said Sunday. "It's unfortunate that there have been some lawmakers and counties that are not carrying on their role of assuring that this is a decompression strategy throughout the state." 

Adams said it would be helpful if the federal government stepped up in directing where migrants are moved throughout the U.S. 

"We have 108,000 cities, villages, towns," Adams said. "If everyone takes a small portion of that and if it's coordinated at the border to ensure that those who are coming here to this country in a lawful manner is actually moved throughout the entire country, it is not a burden on one city." 

A new CBS News poll found Americans who are receptive to the idea of temporarily accepting migrants into their cities depends on their politics and where they live. About 52% of Americans favored housing migrants in their cities, but only 37% thought their city had the facilities to be able to do so. Democrats were more willing to accept migrants, while Republicans were mostly opposed. 

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