New Report: New York Spent Millions Less Than Budgeted on Asylum Costs
New York, NY — Today, America’s Voice and the New York Immigration Coalition highlighted New York City Comptroller Brad Lander’s new report calling for “stronger management” to address budget gaps without scapegoating migrants in New York City. Importantly, the new report reveals that asylum seeker costs could total $465 million less than the City budgeted this year, and $1.61 billion less than planned for FY 2025.
The new report finds significant discrepancies in what Mayor Adams projects in asylum seeker costs, noting that the “total asylum seeker costs in FY 2024 and FY 2025 [are] about 20 percent lower than what the Mayor [Eric Adams] projects over the two years.” Instead the Comptroller calls for taking action to “[expand] access to the legal services, case management, and workforce development that will help new arrivals obtain work authorization and employment as a path out of shelter, which is a more humane and economically productive way to reduce shelter costs.”
“Migrants have been blamed for impending severe budget cuts across every city agency, but it’s clear that’s not the case. This new report from NYC Comptroller Lander underscores that the issue isn’t our new arrivals – it’s Mayor Adams’ failure to manage the budget, said Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC). “Instead of scapegoating asylum seekers, New York leaders should advance real solutions to keep communities safe—expand workforce development training, expand access to CityFHEPs vouchers and support services, and bolster access to legal counsel. We need a solutions-oriented approach where the Mayor, the Governor and the President are working together to ensure real support from our local, state, and federal government for shelters, infrastructure and immigrant communities. Just by expanding access to housing vouchers, to all New Yorkers regardless of legal status, New York City could save $3 billion dollars by moving people from shelters to permanent housing to put them on a path to self-sufficiency, which will strengthen our communities and our economy.”
“Now more than ever during a worker shortage, this new report from the Comptroller’s office highlights how asylum seekers and immigrants are crucial to New York and America’s economy,” said Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “Local officials in charge of New York City’s finances are making it clear: New York City’s economy thrives because of immigrants. Our leaders should focus on implementing policies that expand access to work authorization, legal representation, and other crucial services so that migrants can take care of their families by working and paying taxes legally. Immigrants don’t want a handout, they want to work and sustain themselves, instead of blaming them, it’s time for smart action that strengthens the New York economy.”
A legislative package requested by President Biden that includes $1.4 billion in support for cities like New York receiving new immigrants is being stalled in the U.S. Senate because of policy differences dividing the parties on restricting immigration and funding the war against Putin in Ukraine.