NYC Mayor Eric Adams
The city is ramping up efforts to deal with its migrant crisis AFP

New York City authorities are scrambling to deal with its migrant crisis and have resorted to a new initiative to do so: book them one-way plane tickets to a destination of their choice.

According to Politico, the Eric Adams administration believes this alternative is cheaper than housing migrants for an indeterminate amount of time, and many have been taken from shelters to an office solely dedicated to this purpose.

Adams also said this week that handing out tents to migrants for them to sleep in public parks is "under consideration" as the continuous influx of people might lead the city to impose "draconian" measures.

"(It) is not exactly the plan, but we're exploring all options," said Adams to Bloomberg News after the outlet asked about the possibility following a Wall Street Journal report.

"If the flow continues at 3-4k a week, we are going to have to use draconian measures. Our goal is to find ways not to get to that point, but I would be dishonest if I said it is not on the table. We are out of room, and the cost is beyond sustainable," he added.

If effectively implemented, the measure would begin as the city gets closer to the winter, where temperatures often go below freezing.

Bryant park New York City
Bryant Park (Image by RGY23 from Pixabay) Image by RGY23 from Pixabay

For several weeks Adams has said that "there is no more room in New York," which has a unique right-to-shelter policy for people who experience homelessness. Earlier in October Adams requested a judge suspend that decades-old right earlier this month as the situation continued to grow dire.

Over 130,000 migrants have arrived in the city during the past year and a half. According to Bloomberg, the city currently houses migrants in a mix of roughly 200 shelters, hotels and office buildings, as well as large-scale tent facilities.

In September, Adams announced that the ongoing migrant and asylum seeker crisis would cost New York City taxpayers more than $12 billion over the next three fiscal years. The mayor says the city has already spent nearly $1.5 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 house asylum seekers.

Adams also traveled to Latin American countries that are the main sources of migration and key areas of the long, often-treacherous route they follow as they head up north. Concretely, he went to Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia, where he said "our hearts are endless but our resources are not." He described the visit as an eye-opener, saying he was saddened to see dozens of families with children sleeping on the beach at Necocli waiting to take boats toward the Darien jungle.

"We don't want to put people in congregate shelters. We don't want people to think they will be employed," added Adams, who has called for asylum seekers to get the "right to work" in the U.S.

A total of 3,201,144 migrants arrived in the United States in fiscal year 2023, including people with a legal status and those apprehended for illegally crossing the border, most of them through the southern border, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

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