The number of people in New York City shelters is setting new records daily amid the unyielding arrival of asylum seekers bussed from Texas and elsewhere.
On Friday, New York Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency and announced an executive order to suspend land use requirements to help the city cope with the influx of people.
Adams said he was "angry" the city's compassion was being "exploited by others for political gain" and what he called a "humanitarian crisis" the mayor said is being "accelerated by American politics dynamics."
There are 61,000 people currently in the shelter system, "straining our ability to care for New Yorkers in need," Adams said. He expects the city will have spent $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year.
There are 5,500 migrant children enrolled in city schools.
"Although our compassion is limitless, our resources are not," Adams said during a speech from the City Hall Blue Room. "This is unsustainable."
Of the 61,000 people in shelters, 20,000 are children. One in five is an asylum-seeker.
More than 17,000 asylum seekers have been bused to New York City. Five or six buses arrive each day.
The mayor has appealed to hotels for temporary housing, to the private sector for donations and to religious groups to adopt a shelter and provide assistance.
Mayor Adams, in an exchange with reporters, said the situation with asylum seekers "should be handled at the border."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott might agree with that but Adams signaled no willingness to work with Abbott.
"He's untrustworthy," Adams said.
He called for a national strategy to spread asylum seekers throughout the country so they're absorbed by multiple cities.
He appealed to state and federal governments for additional help and he flatly told the city of El Paso to "stop sending buses to New York."
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security said Friday that the new migration challenges were caused by "by failing authoritarian regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba" and accused Republican governors of using asylum seekers as "political pawns."
"We will continue to do everything we can to support cities as some Republican governors intentionally create chaos and confusion with their cruel political stunts," the statement read.