Mayor Eric Adams Spends Millions on Asylum Application Help Center
FAIR Take | June 2023
Reaffirming New York City’s (NYC) sanctuary policy, Mayor Eric Adams announced that he will provide $5 million towards a new “Asylum Application Help Center” to address the surge of illegal aliens into the Big Apple. The help center is designed to encourage illegal aliens to seek asylum and provide them assistance with the application process. In addition to the help center, Mayor Adams will provide an additional $5 million to Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), including Lutheran Social Services, African Services Committee, Catholic Charities Community Services, and the Pro Se Plus Project, to host information sessions and clinics for asylum applicants.
Over the past year, approximately 76,000 illegal aliens have arrived in New York City and more than 44,000 of those are on the taxpayer dole receiving housing, food, and other benefits. According to Mayor Adams, only a small percentage have taken the steps to apply for asylum.
This is not unusual, however. Many illegal aliens arriving in the U.S. have no intention of ever claiming asylum. Of the rising number who do, some file asylum applications so that they may stay in the U.S. and work until their court dates – whether they intend to appear for them or not. But many don’t even bother with the application and simply disappear into the U.S. According to statistics from the Department of Justice, only 65 percent of the illegal aliens whose asylum cases are referred to immigration court actually file an asylum application, leaving another 35 percent behind.
Because NYC is increasingly bearing the costs for these illegal aliens, Mayor Adams says he has created the help center to bring these individuals “one step closer to being eligible for work authorization and the ability to support themselves.” Illegal aliens are estimated to cost the city $4.3 billion over 2023 and 2024, and with existing housing filled to capacity, it is unsurprising that Mayor Adams is pushing them to file for asylum. This is particularly true since asylum-seekers are not eligible for work authorization until 180 days after filing their application.
Mayor Adams is also pushing aliens to apply for asylum while they are still eligible. Many of the aliens that are receiving benefits arrived in NYC last spring or summer. Aliens have only one year after their arrival to file for asylum, so many are brushing up against that deadline.
As the growing migrant problem is costing New York City millions of dollars, Mayor Adams is using federal taxpayer money as much as possible to pay for it. NYC has received over $30 million in federal funds thus far to provide assistance to illegal aliens and is slated to receive an additional $104.6 million through the new federal Shelter and Services Program.
Mayor Adams is also trying to push the costs onto New Yorkers state-wide. Mayor Adams now argues that counties around the state “need to do their part and emulate the humane and compassionate approach NYC has taken over the past year.” He recently filed suit against 30 counties that issued executive orders to prevent illegal aliens from being housed in their jurisdictions.
One thing Mayor Adams hasn’t done is revoke the city’s 40-year-old sanctuary policy. It’s this policy that has made NYC an attractive destination for illegal aliens entering the country.