Mayor Eric Adams' campaign to get the federal government to take the reins of a growing migrant crisis has finally made it to the U.S. Capitol.
"Today, I am calling for a national response to the asylum seeker crisis," Adams said on Wednesday while delivering remarks at the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.
Adams laid out a six-point plan toward achieving the national goal, which included a dedicated point person for coordinating the national response, a decompression strategy at the border to spread out the arrivals of migrants, congressional funding toward FEMA, expedited right-to-work options, federal legislation that would establish a pathway to citizenship, and nationwide leadership to unite toward a common goal.
"A true solution to this problem is going to come from the executive branch, and from bipartisan effort in our Senate and House," Adams said.
Adams' call to action comes just days after the mayor made an unexpected trip to El Paso over the weekend. The trip gave Adams a first-hand look at the migrant crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border and aimed to draw attention to the need for more action from the White House.
In recent days, Adams has intensified his pressure on the Biden administration and Washington to step up their aid amid an ongoing influx of asylum seekers to New York City. City officials say more than 40,000 asylum seekers have arrived, and more than 29,000 are still in the city's care.
So far, the city has spent about $366 million on resources like housing, food and health care for asylum seekers, a price tag that Adams now says could balloon up to $2 billion without relief.
When asked by NY1 about a potential meeting with President Joe Biden, Adams said that his legislative team is in talks with the White House.
"There is no real coordination on this crisis. That coordination should come from the national level. But if the national level isn't going to respond, then we as mayors have an obligation to coordinate with ourselves," Adams said to reporters.
Adams thanked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for their help in securing funding through the omnibus bill, which has allocated a portion of $825 million toward the crisis.
The city has also received $8 million from FEMA and another $2 million from Sen. Schumer's office.
On Wednesday night, mayors from across the nation are expected to have a closed-door meeting on the migrant crisis. It’s unclear if Adams has had any support for his plan from other top leaders.
In an interview with POLITICO on Wednesday, Adams, who said “there is no more room” to house asylum seekers, floated the idea of using cruise ships. The idea of housing migrants on cruise ships was first reported in September as an emergency location.
“If it means using cruise ships, if it means finding space on state land, in my conversation with the governor, we are going to continue to pivot and shift to address the influx of migrants and asylum seekers. Nothing is left off the table ,” Adams said to Sally Goldenberg.
The mayor is expected back in the city on Thursday, according to his staff.