Several mayors who welcomed a surge of migrants into their sanctuary cities are now requesting the Biden administration give them billions of dollars in federal aid to help support these new residents.
The mayors of Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and New York have urgently requested to meet with President Biden about getting federal support or resources in managing these migrants.
In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, the Democratic leaders told the Biden administration on Wednesday that they appreciate the $1.4 billion in proposed aid but that they need much more — a whopping $5 billion — to ease the new burden on their cities.
“While we are greatly appreciative of the additional federal funding proposed, our city budgets and local taxpayers continue to bear the brunt of this ongoing federal crisis,” the letter says. “Cities have historically absorbed and integrated new migrants with success.”
President Biden has requested Congress to appropriate $1.4 billion to help state and local governments provide shelter and services for migrants.
The mayors said in their letter that more is needed, and they are asking for $5 billion.
“Our cities need additional resources that far exceed the amount proposed in order to properly care for the asylum seekers entering our communities,” the mayors’ letter says. “Relying on municipal budgets is not sustainable and has forced us to cut essential city services.”
Denver is spending $2 million a week on sheltering migrants. New York has surpassed a total of $1.7 billion and Chicago has spent $320 million, according to the letter.
The letter was signed by Mayors Mike Johnston of Denver, Eric Adams of New York, Karen Bass of Los Angeles, Brandon Johnson of Chicago and Sylvester Turner of Houston.
The requested aid would help to construct living facilities, assist in transporting the migrants, and accelerate the processing of new migrants into their systems, among other logistical things.
In Chicago, migrants are sleeping in police station foyers.
In New York, a cruise ship terminal was turned into a shelter.
In Denver, the number of migrants arriving has increased tenfold and available space to shelter them has reached capacity. Also, these migrants cannot find work that would allow them to get into proper housing.
The Democratic president and his border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, have been unable to relieve the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border and the growing number of migrants pouring over the border.
Republicans claim Biden is soft on border security and is allowing too many people to enter the United States. Republican Governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis have resorted to busing migrants to these Democratic-led so-called sanctuary cities such as New York or Chicago, where laws are more favorable to noncitizens.
“We’re committed to supporting local jurisdictions that are hosting migrants that have recently arrived into the country. We’re going to continue to deliver support every way that we can,” said Emilie Simons, deputy White House press secretary.
Republicans in the House of Representatives ultimately control whether any of the funding Biden has requested will be approved.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.