New York City Establishes “Re-Ticketing Center” to Fly Migrants Anywhere in the World
FAIR Take | November 2023
Despite criticizing Republican governors for similar actions earlier this year, New York City’s Mayor, Eric Adams, has decided to fly migrants out of the city. Last week, city officials confirmed that it has set up a “re-ticketing center” dedicated to booking flights for migrants out of the Big Apple.
The center, which is set up in an old church office in the East Village, will purchase migrants one-way tickets to any location of their choice, including international locales, at taxpayer expense. With the city out of room to house migrants, the City has decided that the cost to buy migrants plane tickets is cheaper than the cost of spending an average of $380 per night to house them.
The decision to buy migrants one-way tickets out of New York City is the latest in a series of moves Mayor Adams has made to handle the migrant surge. Mayor Adams recently went to Mexico to dissuade border crossers from coming to New York City saying, “there is no more room in New York. Our hearts are endless, but our resources are not.”
Since last spring, more than 130,600 migrants have arrived in New York City, costing taxpayers approximately $10 million per day. The strain on resources and overcrowding concerns have become so dire that local firefighters have been forced to shut down shelters due to fire code violations, exacerbating the challenges faced by the city in providing adequate care and shelter.
Moreover, the city is grappling with a parallel issue – the growing problem of migrant prostitution, which has placed additional burdens on law enforcement and social services. Mayor Adams has described the activity is “overt during the day,” and locals have expressed their disdain for the deteriorating situation. One resident even told the New York Post, “This doesn’t feel like New York anymore. It’s like Bangkok, the red-light district. It’s like a market in a Third World country.”
The migrant surge has also prompted Mayor Adams to request a temporary suspension of the 1981 Right to Shelter law, which requires New York City to provide shelter for all homeless individuals. The city’s lawyers, on behalf of Mayor Adams, have written to Supreme Court Justice Erika Edwards, seeking a modification of the 1981 Right to Shelter mandate. They clarify, “The City is not seeking to terminate the Consent Judgment; we seek only the immediate relief that present circumstances demand. The Consent Judgment- entered over 40 years ago under far different circumstances- has become outmoded and cumbersome in the face of the present migrant crisis.”
If approved, the modification would suspend the mandate during a declared emergency when the number of single adults seeking shelter exceeds 50 percent of the pre-emergency levels. This would align New York City with the obligations of other jurisdictions throughout the state.
Ironically, while trying to mitigate the burden migrants have placed on city resources, Mayor Adams has made it clear that he strongly believes in open-border policies, regardless of the toll it’s taken on the state- “We believe the borders should remain open, that’s the official position of this city. But we have made it clear there should be a decompression strategy that we could properly deal with the volumes that’s coming into our city, and no cities should have to carry the burden of a nation … of the national government.”
Mayor Adams is now joining mayors from major cities across the U.S. in requesting federal aid to support their sanctuary policies. Last week, the mayors of Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, and New York City jointly signed a letter to President Biden, requesting $5 billion in aid. They stated, “While we appreciate the additional federal funding proposed, our city budgets and local taxpayers continue to bear the brunt of this ongoing federal crisis.”
Whether the Biden Administration can transfer more taxpayer dollars to these sanctuary cities remains to be seen. Congress is in the midst of a fierce spending battle right now, with aid for Israel, Ukraine and border security taking center stage. House Republicans and some Senate Republicans are demanding that any funding for border security include significant policy changes so the money is used to stop the flow of illegal aliens, not simply process and release them faster. But members of the House and Senate will have to negotiate quickly to reach consensus as the deadline to fund the government is approaching quickly: November 17.