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Mayor Eric Adams says migrants still welcome in NYC, but hopes some will go to other parts of the state

Mayor Adams calls for national czar to address migrant crisis
Mayor Adams calls for national czar to address migrant crisis 02:49

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams is calling on the federal government to create a national czar to deal with the migrant crisis, but says New York will remain a sanctuary city.

CBS2 threw the mayor a lifeline, just days after he said he needed emergency state intervention to find space for asylum seekers. She asked the mayor if he would end the policy that has made the city such an attractive refuge.

"Given the fact that you have said there's no more room at the inn, would you consider either suspending or stopping New York City from being a sanctuary city?" political reporter Marcia Kramer asked.

"No, that's not on the agenda at all. I think as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, he was faced with no more room, but there was a place that was found and that's what we're doing. We have no more room, but we're still finding space," Adams said.

Translation: Despite the mayor's trip to the border, and despite his demand for immediate state and federal aid, the welcome mat is still out for migrants in New York City.

"That is our law. That is our obligation and that is what's morally right," Adams said.

Meanwhile, city officials told CBS2 there has still been no concrete response from the state about what, if anything, it will do to help find extra housing for the asylum seekers who have flooded the city -- 40,400 so far, more than 3,100 last week alone.

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Sources said the city told the state the facilities don't have to be within New York City, suggesting Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. But they must include food, shower, laundry and transportation to and from New York City so that asylum seekers can be moved into long-term housing as soon as it becomes available.

The mayor once again suggested moving migrants to other cities and towns within the state.

"I actually think that's a win-win. That's the conversation I've been having with my state leaders. We have many municipalities throughout the entire state that are suffering in population, that are dealing with the need of employees," Adams said.

Ultimately, though, the mayor says the federal government has to take ownership of the border crisis.

"There must be a national czar. I think it should be done through FEMA. We should treat this the same way we treated any major disaster or a major crisis," Adams said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul insists she has been supporting the city right along. Aides say she has written to the White House, allowed part of the Port Authority Bus Terminal to be used by social services providers, and offered $3 million in free legal services to asylum seekers.

So far, there has been no promise of new shelter.

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