Mayor Eric Adams at the Staten Island Ferry on Sept. 4, 2023. (Staten Island Advance/Joseph Ostapiuk)
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New York City Mayor Eric Adams called for budget cuts from every city agency, citing the ongoing costs due to the migrant crisis, according to multiple media reports.
In an announcement on Saturday, Adams said all city agencies will be forced to cut spending by 5% beginning in November — with more cuts possible in January and April. An internal email sent to city employees and obtained by Gothamist said that cuts could add up to 15%.
It will amount to billions of dollars in cuts that may affect every city service, such as schools, police, fire, and sanitation — though the city said it will seek to minimize disruptions.
There will be no layoffs.
“While our compassion is limitless, our resources are not,” said Adams. “This is a sobering fact, and that’s why today’s decision was not made lightly. At this time, we are asking all of our agencies to submit a plan to reduce their city-funded spending in each year of our financial plan, but the die is not yet cast.”
The cuts were made to maintain the city’s fiscal strength during the mounting costs of asylum seekers that continue to arrive in the city each month, which will cost taxpayers $12 billion over three fiscal years. Adams said this amount will continue to grow without federal and state intervention and support.
“Cuts for citizens because our mayor INSISTS on free housing and billions of dollars in services for citizens of OTHER countries, who aren’t playing by the rules,” Malliotakis stated on the Instagram post. “His solution is not for Biden to undo the executive orders that created this mess or for Schumer to pass our House bill that would end it all today…it’s for taxpayers to shell out MORE money so he can open MORE shelters…no way!”
Since the spring of last year, nearly 110,000 migrants, who Mayor Eric Adams’ administration identifies as asylum seekers, have made their way to the five boroughs prompting the city to set up more than 200 emergency shelters across the city.
About 60,000 of those migrants remain in the city’s care, and the city has consistently put Staten Island’s share of the housing capacity at 2% throughout the crisis.
Multiple sites have been used around Staten Island, but none have drawn community pushback like what has been seen regarding the former St. John Villa site that sits directly across the street from the rear of St. Joseph Hill Academy’s campus. Families of the school community who spoke with the Advance/SILive.com outside first-day drop-offs Thursday raised similar concerns heard at the weeks-worth of protests about their children’s safety.