Almost 7,000 migrants crossed the southern border illegally per day in November. While small border towns shoulder most of the load, New York City, for its part, has received some 31,000 migrants. And though this is less than a percent of the more than 5 million migrants who have crossed since President Joe Biden took office, 31,000 is still a lot of people, and New York Mayor Eric Adams is not wrong in calling the migrants a “burden” on New York City’s resources.
City leaders bemoaned the fact that NYC will have to pull funds from parks, schools, hospitals, and other resident services.
Mayor Adams’ solution? Money. Adams asked the federal government for a whopping $1 billion to reimburse its expenses housing 17,400 migrants, costing Americans about $172,000 to house a family of three migrants.
Let’s put aside this insane price tag.
Money is not going to solve this problem. Even with the full $1 billion, the city will still strip money and services from New Yorkers, because the demand for free New York living will always exceed the supply.
Assume New York receives the entire $1 billion. It can then build more migrant shelters equipped with hot meals—and apparently Xboxes, plush couches, and free internet. But then what? More migrants will arrive, and New York will again have to limit resident services to provide the additional migrants with aid. So long as New York offers the space, it will be overfilled.
And that’s the issue. The vast majority of migrants are fleeing poor economic conditions for exactly what New York and the federal government are offering. The United States is rich and prosperous, with a GDP per capita of more than $70,000. In Guatemala, the richest of the three Northern Triangle countries, the GDP per capita is a mere $5,000. Of course our neighbors to the south want to come here. And as long as the border is open, the stream will continue—even faster the more housing, meals, and Xboxes are provided.
New York’s problem isn’t a lack of resources; it’s an open border. Presumably, the state of Texas, when it provided migrants with bus tickets to New York, thought New York would realize this obvious truth. Nope.
Instead, New York City has doubled down on its sanctuary policies, meaning local officials refuse to coordinate with ICE to deport known criminals. And New Yorkers continue voting for a full slate of Democratic members of Congress to support Biden’s agenda, which seeks to eliminate every border security tool, including the “Remain in Mexico” policy, Title 42, border wall construction, and the expanded use of expedited removal.
It is clear that free room and board will exacerbate the problem. And yet the federal government—predictably—paid New York anyway. It awarded New York City $5 million last summer to house illegal migrants, and another $8 million in December. Sadly, the money comes from the Department of Homeland Security, the agency dedicated to preventing illegal immigration in the first place.
New York isn’t the only city receiving funding. DHS announced $39 million will go to 21 groups to house illegal aliens. The funding comes from a program created in the 1980s to “meet the critically urgent needs of the homeless of the Nation.” In other words, funds used to house illegal immigrants are being diverted away from homeless Americans. Of the hundreds of homeless who freeze to death over the course of a year, how many could be saved if liberal leaders dedicate themselves to their fellow Americans?
The madness must end. Leftist city leaders should not get to steal money from Americans who have earned it—and whose own families have needs—to embolden human smuggling and reward those who have broken our laws.
So, no, Mayor Adams, you do not need funding “from Washington.” You need a secure border. DHS should stop putting migrant Xboxes above homeless Americans and start doing its job.
May Mailman is a senior fellow with Independent Women’s Law Center (iwlc.org).
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.