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Report: Migrant crisis strains New York City budget

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(The Center Square) — The influx of asylum seekers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is creating budget stress for New York City and other major U.S. cities, according to a recent report by S&P Global Ratings.

The report, released earlier this month, said New York City spent $1.45 billion in fiscal year 2023 on migrant costs and expects to spend upwards of $10 billion on migrants over the next two fiscal years, which will strain its resources and put pressure on the city’s AA credit rating.

“To accommodate rising program costs, NYC is implementing several cost-saving measures, including provisions for single migrants and asylum seekers to reapply for shelter after 30 days, and for families after 60 days,” according to the report’s authors.

The Big Apple has had an influx of more than 170,000 migrants over the past year, with about 70,000 under the city’s care. Under New York’s right-to-shelter law, the city must provide emergency housing to anyone who requests it, regardless of their immigration status. Mayor Eric Adams has called for additional state and federal funding to cover the city’s migrant costs.

Over the past two years, Texas has sent a combined 83,600 migrants to New York City, Chicago and Denver in protest over the Biden administration’s immigration policies, the report noted.

“If this issue remains significant enough for long enough, the increase in costs and social service requirements could affect states’ and local governments’ credit quality,” S&P’s analysts wrote.

The report noted that the mayors of all three cities are among those asking the Biden administration for help to alleviate the fiscal burden caused by the influx of asylum seekers.

“Given current political dynamics in Washington, D.C. and the upcoming presidential election, we do not consider additional federal support likely,” the authors wrote. “Therefore, cities on the front line of migrant and asylum seeker inflows will have to face the uncertainty of rising costs, without a guarantee of revenues to offset the expenditures.”

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