Including Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston called for additional federal support to manage the national asylum seeker crisis. With a record number of crossings at the border set yet again, New York City and other impacted cities have begun to see another surge of migrants arriving via buses. In response, Mayor Adams today issued Executive Order 538 requiring improved coordination from charter bus companies transporting new migrant arrivals into New York City, ensuring the safety and well-being of both migrants and city staff receiving them. Effective today, chartered buses bringing migrants into the city — many of which have been and continue to be sent by the State of Texas — will be required to provide 32 hours’ notice before arriving in New York City and information on the population they are transporting, as well as be required to drop passengers off at a designated location in Manhattan only during specified hours.
New York City has seen a significant increase in chartered buses dropping off passengers at random locations throughout Midtown Manhattan in recent weeks, without any prior notice to city officials. This is hampering the city’s ability to manage this humanitarian crisis, including efforts to provide emergency services as needed to migrants. In the last month, the city has begun to see another surge, recording more than 14,700 new arrivals. Last week, 14 rogue buses with migrants arrived from Texas in a single night — the highest one-day total recorded by the Asylum Seeker Arrival Center since last spring — in addition to migrants still arriving via other modes of transportation. Today’s executive order will help ensure the city can continue to manage this humanitarian crisis in an orderly way.
“… the highest recorded number in a single night …”
“New York City has begun to see another surge of migrants arriving, and we expect this to intensify over the coming days as a result of Texas Governor Abbott’s cruel and inhumane politics,” said Mayor Adams. “Just last week, 14 chartered buses with migrants arrived overnight from Texas, the highest recorded number in a single night, in addition to the hundreds of migrants who arrived that very same day via other modes of transportation. We are proud to have helped nearly 60 percent of the more than 161,000 migrants who have come through our intake system move out of shelter. But cities cannot continue to do the federal government’s job for them. We need federal and state help to resettle and support the remaining 68,000 migrants currently in New York City’s care and the thousands of individuals who continue to arrive every single week, and for Governor Abbott to finally stop the games and use of migrants as political pawns. I’m proud to stand with Mayor Johnson and Mayor Johnston and push for more federal support for cities impacted by this growing humanitarian crisis. This executive order will also ensure safe, orderly, and coordinated bus arrivals going forward, and will hold accountable those bus companies that refuse to coordinate with us.”
“I am proud to stand with Mayor Adams and Mayor Johnston as we come together to advocate for viable solutions to this humanitarian crisis,” said Chicago Mayor Johnson. “Chicago will always be a welcoming city, but we need collaboration at all levels of government and our federal partners to provide the necessary coordination and resources so that cities like Chicago, Denver and New York have what is needed to do this crucial work. We are united in our continued call for federal support to ensure that all those seeking asylum in this country are treated with dignity and humanity.”
“As Denver continues to see an increase of newcomers arriving in our city, many of whom are families with children who arrive in the middle of the night in below-freezing conditions, it’s clear that what the U.S. is currently doing is not working,” said Denver Mayor Johnston. “Our cities are working shoulder-to-shoulder to support newcomers, but it’s time for the federal government to increase work authorization, create a coordinated entry strategy, and provide more federal dollars to ensure cities can manage this crisis and help newcomers thrive.”
“For more than a year and a half, chartered buses of asylum seekers have arrived across our city with mere minutes’ notice and no information on how many men, women, or children are on board, making our herculean task of caring for our newest New Yorkers even harder,” said Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack. “This executive order will better allow us to coordinate arriving buses, so we can efficiently manage this crisis. But let’s be clear: this is not a substitute for the urgent federal action that New York City — and cities across the country — need. This is a national crisis, and it demands a national solution.”
“Texas has been trying to manufacture chaos in our shelter system by sending bus after bus without letting us know when they’ll arrive or how many people are on the buses, and often dropping off passengers on city streets in the middle of the night,” said City Hall Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg. “Today’s executive order will allow us to better coordinate when and where chartered buses arrive and ensure that we get significantly more information about who’s on the buses, well ahead of their arrival. To be clear though, this isn’t a replacement for federal action.”
“For more than a year and a half, New York City has responded to what is a national humanitarian crisis,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “More than 161,000 people seeking asylum have come through our system, without much lead time or coordination from other municipalities beforehand. Today’s executive order moves to change that by gathering information from charter bus companies on the number of passengers and other details to help us prepare most effectively to receive adults, children, and families. This crisis is not letting up as we are still receiving thousands of new arrivals each week, and we are continuing to act in the absence of other federal and state coordinated support.”
“Bus companies that drop off thousands of people in need of assistance at random locations and times, often at night or on the weekends, are interfering with the city’s ability to manage this humanitarian crisis and provide emergency services,” said New York City Corporation Counsel Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix. “This executive order, which requires companies to coordinate these unexpected arrivals with the city, is another urgent step we need to address this unprecedented emergency.”
Effective immediately, all buses covered by the executive order must drop off their passengers at the loading zone on West 41st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in Manhattan, unless the New York City Department of Emergency Management has designated or pre-approved a different drop-off location in advance. Furthermore, the chartered buses can only drop off migrants between the hours of 8:30 AM and 12:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
Warning letters are also being sent to charter bus companies that New York City has identified as engaging in transporting newly arrived migrants from Texas to New York City. Under New York State law, knowingly violating a local executive order is a class B misdemeanor crime punishable by up to three months imprisonment and an up to $500 fine for individuals and an up to $2,000 fine for corporations. Additionally, companies that knowingly violate Executive Order 538 could have their buses impounded by the New York City Police Department.
“…helped submit over 23,000 asylum (seekers)…”
Since this humanitarian crisis began, the city has taken fast and urgent action, opening over 210 emergency sites to provide shelter, including 18 additional large-scale humanitarian relief centers; standing up navigation centers with support from community-based organizations to connect new arrivals with critical resources; enrolling thousands of children in public schools through Project Open Arms; opening application help centers that have helped submit over 23,000 asylum, Temporary Protected Status, and work authorization applications, and more. Earlier this spring, the city released “The Road Forward: A Blueprint to Address New York City’s Response to the Asylum Seeker Crisis,” detailing how the city will continue to manage the influx of asylum seekers and advocate for support from federal and state partners.
“…the city plans to pursue a 20 percent reduction in spending …”
As the Adams administration continues to prioritize helping migrants live independently, without significant or timely state and federal assistance, the city plans to pursue a 20 percent reduction in spending on the migrant crisis in the Fiscal Year 2024 Preliminary Budget, which will be released in January 2024.
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