Hochul inks executive order boosting resources to NYC ahead of anticipated migrant surge

A migrant at a Brooklyn relief center
A migrant glances back as he enters the relief center in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
File photo/Dean Moses

Governor Kathy Hochul signed an executive order Tuesday expediting the release of $1 billion in aid to New York City and providing additional support resources to help address the anticipated surge in new migrant arrivals as the federal Title 42 provisions expire.

The increased logistical support includes mobilizing 500 more National Guard members to assist with processing the migrants at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and various other intake and shelter sites around New York. It also enables the state government and localities such as New York City to rapidly procure, purchase and distribute food, clothing and other necessities to migrants as needed.

The executive order comes as Title 42 — a Trump-era rule that the Biden administration has used to limit the number of migrants being permitted entry over the southern border into the U.S. — is set to lapse on May 11, when the federal COVID-19 emergency finally ends. It’s expected that more migrants will be permitted over the southern border after May 11, and that governments in border states (such as Texas, led by Governor Greg Abbott) will instead send the newcomers on buses bound for New York and other safe havens across the country.

“For more than a year, we have been working closely with Mayor Adams to provide support and advocate for federal resources to address the large numbers of asylum seekers arriving in New York City,” Hochul said in a May 9 statement. “With Title 42 set to expire, the circumstances on the ground are expected to change significantly and this Executive Order will be an important part of our coordinated response. I have spoken to Mayor Adams and county executives throughout New York as we work to address this situation.”

Migrants cross the border illegally in Texas
FILE – Colombian migrants that were trying to evade U.S. Border Patrol wait to be processed near the port of entry in Hidalgo, Texas, Thursday, May 4, 2023. A recent surge of migrants in the Brownsville area of the U.S.-Mexico border is highlighting immigration challenges as the U.S. prepares for the end of a policy linked to the coronavirus pandemic that allowed it to quickly expel many migrants. (AP Photo/Veronica G. Cardenas, File)

Over the last year, New York City has taken in more than 60,000 migrants since busloads of the newcomers from Texas began arriving in the Big Apple in April 2022. More than half of the migrants (37,500) remain in the city’s care today, at great cost — something which the Adams administration has been begging the federal and state governments to help allay

The new state budget directs $1 billion in emergency relief to New York City to respond to the migrant crisis, the vast majority of which ($741 million) will be directed toward shelter expenses. Still, that will likely not be enough for the city to handle the influx of newcomers once Title 42 expires, and Mayor Eric Adams on Friday announced plans to send some of the asylum-seekers to locations north and west of the city — triggering the ire of suburban officials. 

Hochul said she has “consistently pushed for additional federal support,” and has taken the state’s case directly to the Biden administration for assistance. The governor is particularly urging the federal government to reduce waiting periods for migrants to obtain work visas.