EL PASO, Texas -- Mayor Eric Adams offered a scathing critique of the federal government on Sunday, calling for more help for cities like New York in dealing with an influx of asylum seekers.
He made the comments after touring El Paso, Texas, and he didn't hold back.
Adams called on the Senate, House, and the White House to work together to find solutions and address immigration reform. In the meantime, he said cities like New York, El Paso and Chicago need help from FEMA.
Two thousand miles from Manhattan's skyscrapers, Adams looked up at a different view. A border patrol agent told the mayor how migrants use ladders and other tools to cross into the U.S.
It was a tour Adams took because he says 40,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City since the spring. Just a few days ago he said the city is at its breaking point and asked the state to shelter hundreds of migrants.
"New York cannot take more. We can't," Adams said.
He said the influx of asylum seekers could cost the city $2 billion.
"The federal government should pick up the entire cost, what El Paso is going through, and all of the other municipalities, and we need a real leadership moment from FEMA. This is a national crisis," Adams said.
The mayor also criticized the governors of Colorado and Texas for busing migrants to New York City, calling it bipartisan disrespect for cities. The city of El Paso also bused migrants to New York City last year, but an El Paso city spokesperson told CBS News in late October the city had stopped the practice.
"We are not pointing the finger at El Paso. We're not pointing the finger at Houston. We're pointing the finger where it should be pointed, and that's our national government. This is a national problem," Adams said.
The mayor said he is traveling this week to Washington D.C., where he will raise the issue with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the African American Mayors Association.
CBS2 asked a City Hall spokesperson if he'll also be meeting with FEMA, and was told that is not in the plans right now.
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