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Eric Adams plans to resettle asylum-seekers across U.S.

NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams announced a shift in policy on asylum-seekers that includes a more formal process of resettling migrants throughout the state and in other cities across the country.

The administration’s plans were outlined in a new policy brief released Tuesday called The Road Forward: A Blueprint to Address New York City’s Response to the Asylum Seeker Crisis.

“This blueprint we are releasing today highlights what we have accomplished since the crisis … it’s also going to show the changes we have put in place to move from an emergency response to a steady state of operation,” Adams said at the City Hall press briefing.

The administration plans to brief more migrants on relocation opportunities and work with national nonprofits to identify welcoming cities across the country where they might move, Adams said. Additionally, the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will oversee a $25 million program to help resettle migrant families in municipalities elsewhere in New York.

“There are cities in the state an across the country that … want to play the role,” the mayor said. “They realize that this is a national problem.”

A separate program through the State University of New York in Sullivan County will offer migrants the opportunity to relocate there and participate in a workforce training pilot and earn a credential or degree.

Many details, however, were not explained.

The mayor, for instance, said he did not want to reveal the names of partner cities that are planning to host more migrants for fear of souring those relationships.

“Please don’t ask me which cities because I don’t need you running to the cities and stopping them,” he told reporters at the announcement. “I know you enjoy pitting cities against cities, so we are not giving you that information.”

In January Adams criticized the governor of Colorado, a fellow Democrat, for busing migrants to New York City. A month later he admitted to coordinating one-way bus tickets to Plattsburgh, N.Y for migrants who wanted to move to Canada.

He also announced a new office to coordinate responses across city agencies and a new 24/7 intake center.

The Office of Asylum Seeker Operations will coordinate efforts across multiple agencies that are now doing the work. The city also plans to replace intake operations at the Port Authority, where asylum-seekers arrive by bus, with a new facility that will operate around the clock. He did not divulge a location for the intake center.

The blueprint describes a broad shift from emergency response to what City Hall is calling steady state operations — a recognition that the influx of migrants is unlikely to abate any time soon.

The city has spent roughly $650 million on providing services to the newcomers since the middle of last year. And on Monday, the city’s budget director expressed dim hopes the administration would be getting any federal reimbursement beyond an unspecified portion of the $800 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money already earmarked for cities around the country.

“I am concerned about what is going to happen when the border is reopened,” the mayor said, seemingly referring to a recent policy from the Biden administration designed to reduced the number of crossings. “New York City is still a destination.”

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