NYC Mayor Eric Adams
NYC Mayor Eric Adams AFP

New York City Mayor Eric Adams cancelled a trip to the U.S. southern border on Sunday, citing security concerns during one of the planned stops.

ABC News reported that the U.S. State Department flagged safety concerns in a stop in Mexico, leading Adams' team to postpone the trip. He was set to visit Brownsville and McAllen, in Texas, as well as other locations across the border.

"As Lent draws to a close, our team was excited to stand with faith and humanitarian leaders who have dedicated their lives to serving the most needy among us and we were eager to discuss our work in New York City and explore new ways to collaborate with leaders in cities across the country," said Adams' spokesperson Amaris Cockfield about the decision, also addressing the fact that he had been invited by Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande, she said.

As NYC struggles to deal with the incessant flow of people reaching the city, Adams made different trips to the border to discourage migration, saying authorities didn't have enough funds to do so. He also flew to Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia last year to meet with local authorities and plead to migrants to stop making the often-dangerous journey to the U.S.

Overall, more than 180,000 asylum-seekers have reached the city's system since spring 2022. Many of them were taken from Texas as part of Governor Greg Abbott's "Lone Star" operation, which has taken migrants from the state's southern border to cities like New York City, Chicago and Denver.

The Roosevelt Hotel
The Roosevelt Hotel, New York City's primary migrant arrival center. Latin Times/Andrea Pineda-Salgado

In this context, Adams has also asked the federal government to implement a "decompression strategy" which would distribute migrants across the country rather than seeing most of them in certain cities.

"Cities should not be handling a national crisis of this magnitude," said Adams. "We're going to start seeing the visualization of this crisis. We've done a great job, but we can't continue to sustain this."

According to ABC News, New York City officials say that they have opened more than 200 emergency sites to address the influx of migrants, including more than 90 shelters. As figures increased and continued over time, city authorities limited the services provided, with most adults now having to leave the shelters after 30 days and being prevented to reapply unless experiencing "extenuating circumstances." People under 23 years of age have a 60-day limit, while families don't face such restrictions. Families represented 78% of all asylum-seekers in New York City, according to the outlet, which cited data from the NYC Comptroller's office.

Chicago has taken a similar approach: it started evicting some migrants from its shelters this week, a measure that had been postponed three times because of extreme winter, staffing concern and backlash from advocates and elected officials.

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