Customs, Border and Immigration News

New York Budget Official Warns Migrant Crisis Is Putting State’s Services At ‘Risk’

A top New York budget official warned Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul against continuing to fund efforts to support the state’s migrant influx as it puts other budget items for state services at “risk,” according to an internal memo obtained by Politico.

Division of Budget Director Blake Washington warned Hochul’s office that the burden created by the migrant crisis on the state’s budget could compromise needed funding for education and health care, according to the memo. Hochul is set to announce the city’s plan Monday for its mid-year spending, according to Politico.

“With the continued influx of migrants, no promises of financial support from the Federal government, and no clear pathway to a wholesale policy change at the Federal level to address the situation, New York State can only shoulder this financial commitment for a limited duration without putting other areas of the State budget at risk, such as aid to public schools, support for our health delivery infrastructure, and the readiness of our National Guard,” Washington wrote in the memo to Karen Persichilli Keogh, the top aide to the governor.

“As we move forward, outside of fulfilling our existing commitments, we must consider limiting our assistance to targeted interventions such as legal services, case management and efforts to connect migrants and asylum seekers to jobs, as opposed to sharing in more costly services such as indefinite stays in hotel rooms,” Washington wrote.

The state has already committed $1.5 billion to aid with New York City’s migrant crisis, while it has been spending an additional $358 million for housing and other migrant costs, according to Politico.

Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams warned in September that the migrant influx could “destroy” the Big Apple.

New York City recently began giving free plane tickets for migrants to leave because it has run out of space for them.

“With no sign of a decompression strategy in the near future, we have established a reticketing center for migrants,” Kayla Mamelak, a spokesperson for New York City Hall, recently told The City. “Here, the city will redouble efforts to purchase tickets for migrants to help them take the next steps in their journeys, and it helps us triage operations at The Roosevelt for new arrivals.”

New York City is caring for roughly 65,000 migrants, Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Anne Williams‑Isom, said Tuesday.

“While we remain on solid fiscal footing, the State faces many headwinds,” Washington wrote to Hochul.

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Jennie Taer

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Jennie Taer

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