New York, NY – New York City Mayor Adams announced his $107 billion Executive Budget proposal for the fiscal year 2024. Immigrant supports wasted no time in rejecting the budget citing a blatant attempt to exclude poor families from services they need with the massive budget cuts affecting all city agencies.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) released this statement in response to the budget.
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“Mayor Adams has become unbelievably skilled at speaking out of both sides of his mouth. How can we be on the brink of a fiscal crisis and yet have $8.3 billion for a rainy day fund? It makes no sense. Right now, thousands of New Yorkers are struggling with soaring rents, the increasing price of groceries, and just making ends meet. Instead of providing real solutions for all New York’s families, the Mayor is continuing to sow division among New Yorkers by blaming his administration’s fiscal failures on the asylum seekers who are simply in pursuit of safety from violence and persecution as they are legally entitled to do.
Executive budgets are about choices —the Mayor’s choices have made clear that his priority is ensuring that the city serves the interest of the ultra-wealthy, no matter the cost to every day working New Yorkers. The Mayor and City Council must step up to deliver a budget that will uplift every single New Yorker in their time of need, which includes investing $3 million for English Language Learner (ELL) Transfer School Programs; $75 million to hire additional social workers to support the needs of students, especially newcomer asylum seekers; renewed funding for legal services programs including $31.1 million for ActionNYC and Admin IOI (Immigrant Opportunity Initiative); and $10 million for an emergency immigration legal services program for asylum seekers. We reject the Mayor’s continued calls for austerity and demand a budget that ensures every New Yorker has equal opportunity to raise their families and thrive in New York City no matter their income level or legal status.”
New York Public Advocate Jumaane Williams also chimed in:
“The administration’s latest ‘Program to Eliminate the Gap’ will only deepen the deficit of vital city services.
“How can we justify further cuts to agencies when the city workforce is already drastically understaffed and services are suffering as a result? Four percent is not an abstract figure – it means real reductions in things like safe housing inspectors, shelter staff, sanitation workers, civil rights attorneys. It means New Yorkers get 4% less effective government and services than they deserve. Last year’s “savings” have already cost a city reeling from pandemic-era staffing reductions, and further cuts will only deepen the damage and undercut the effort to stabilize our city and its economy. All of these proposed cuts come from an administration that refuses to support additional revenue raising measures which could help to provide that stability.
“The goal of the current city budget process should be preserving and strengthening the programs in place, not further slashing them. Long term austerity is not the answer, and our city’s commitment to meeting the needs of New Yorkers cannot be in question.”
Mayor Adams said an additional $4.3 billion by July of 2024 will be needed to provide for the 57,000 migrants who’ve arrived in the city since last year.