US Border 'Too Open Right Now,' Warns New York's Hochul

Gov. Kathy Hochul has called for Congress to put limits on 'who can come across the border.'
US Border 'Too Open Right Now,' Warns New York's Hochul
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a press conference prevention of gun violence and public safety in New York City on July 31, 2023. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
10/2/2023
Updated:
10/3/2023
0:00

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has made fresh comments on the current immigration crisis facing New York City, warning Congress that the "country's border is too open right now," and calling for limits "who can come across the border."

In an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation," she remarked that the country's border is currently too much of a free-for-all. She said that people from all over the world are being allowed into the country for "simply saying they need asylum" and ending up the streets of New York City.

The comment comes on the back of New York's ongoing struggle with an unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants. According to New York City officials, over 110,000 illegal immigrants have come to the city over the past year, with around 60,000 living in the city's shelter system, costing billions of dollars per year.

In the CBS interview, Ms. Hochul said the number is now closer to the tune of 125,000.

"We are always so proud of the fact that we have the Statue Liberty in our harbor," she said. "We are one of the most diverse places on Earth because of our welcoming nature; it's in our DNA to welcome immigrants.

"But there has to be some limits in place. Congress has to put some more controls at the border and not in this budget threat, shut down threat talk about eliminating positions from Border Patrol where we actually need to double our quadruple of those numbers.

"So get back to work and do your jobs." Ms. Hochul added.

Last month, Ms. Hochul said something along similar lines. In an interview with CNN, she said that New York City has run out of space to take in more illegal immigrants and that the city is at a breaking point due to the crisis. She added that it's important to get the word out to would-be asylum seekers that, "We're at our limit."

New York City is facing immediate challenges like housing and sanitation as it works to deal with the flood of illegal immigrants who have been sent to the city, mostly after entering at the southern border. The government has provided shelter but it seems that resources and political will has reached a breaking point, as New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently warned that "never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to.

"I don’t see an ending to this," he said last month.
Mr. Adams also warned policy makers in August that the cost of looking after illegal immigrants is unsustainable and continues to balloon. He said that for each family seeking asylum through the city's care, the government is spending an average of $383 per night to provide shelter, food, medical care, and social services.

"With more than 57,300 individuals currently in our care, on an average night, it amounts to $9.8 million a day, almost $300 million a month, and nearly $3.6 billion a year," he said.

He asserted that this is only an estimate, and that new estimates are reporting a whopping $5 billion to deal with the immigration crisis for the current fiscal year.

"And if things do not change, we expect to have more than 100,000 asylum seekers in our care by the end of June, 2025, driving projected spending to $6.1 billion in that fiscal year if we do not change course. That means over the course of three fiscal years, our city is projected to have spent more than $12 billion," Mr. Adams added, asking for more help.

In August, Ms. Hochul urged President Joe Biden to assist the sanctuary state by providing housing, support, and work authorization for undocumented immigrants. In a letter dated Aug. 24, Ms. Hochul outlined specific requests, including expediting work authorizations for undocumented immigrants to facilitate their swift integration into communities, financial aid for both New York City and the state, and the utilization of federal land and facilities for temporary shelters.

She also sought Title 32 designation to secure funding for the approximately 2,000 New York National Guard members who have been offering logistical and operational support to house the thousands of illegal immigrants in the state.

The administration of Ms. Hochul had previously earmarked $1.5 billion in state assistance to address the growing number of illegal immigrants. Additionally, it also allocated $20 million to expedite the processing of casework for over 30,000 individuals identified as asylum seekers.

In her letter to the president, Ms. Hochul expressed that an increase in illegal immigrants is straining the resources of both the city and state, and that the situation has resulted in significant operational and management difficulties while placing an immense burden on the city's homeless shelters.