Adams’ paperwork delays Biden’s $1 billion migrant aid request

Mayor Eric Adams has opted against using an established federal program to recover the $1 billion the Big Apple may spend to house and care for more than 20,000 migrants because of… paperwork.

Senior officials made the startling revelation during a budget meeting on Tuesday, during which they revealed that City Hall had so far submitted only $4.8 million in expenses to be reimbursed — and had received every dollar they formally requested.

The catch, officials revealed, was that the Adams administration is now requesting a $1 billion special grant up front from the federal government to cover migrant-related expenses, rather than the established reimbursement program to cover expenses already incurred use.

The grant, they added, would allow City Hall to avoid much of the paperwork normally associated with requesting a refund, including providing receipts and other documents.

Officials said the administration hasn’t even finished drafting its formal application for the billion dollars to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which also administers the reimbursement program for migrant-related expenses.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks at a news conference on housing reforms that will help people exit and/or avoid the protection system.
Mayor Eric Adams is asking the federal government for a $1 billion grant for migrant-related spending.
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

They added that they had “informal” discussions with members of the New York Congress and Gov. Kathy Hochul on the matter.

Officials admitted it during a budget briefing on Tuesday for reporters, who were allowed to attend on the condition that they would not quote the officials by name and that quotations could only be paraphrased.

The information was in sharp contrast to Hizzoner’s frequent convictions of state and federal officials for not granting quick reimbursements — statements in which he never mentioned the decision to seek an alternative to the traditional reimbursement program.

A migrant bus arrives at the Port Authority bus terminal in New York on September 27, 2022.
The arrivals of migrants have come at a significant financial cost to the city.
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

“We’re still fighting for reimbursement,” Hizzoner said. “We believe the campaign season is over. It’s time for people to focus on this issue. We need to be reimbursed.”

Adams then added, “We have spent a lot of money on a national issue, and we are seeking reimbursement and support from the state and the federal government.”

He later tried to argue that Gov. Kathy Hochul and President Joe Biden’s campaign plans during the midterm likely slowed consideration of the city’s aid request.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams attends a business breakfast event during the SOMOS 2022 Conference on November 12, 2022 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Mayor Eric Adams’ administration would avoid much of the paperwork related to reimbursement with the $1 billion grant.
James Keivom

“When I say campaign season is over, people seem more focused on problems when they’re not running from place to place to place,” Adams said.

“The campaign season isn’t over because no one wanted to talk about it — because I talked about it,” he added. “But it seems like people get more focused when they’re not running from one place to the next.”

The billion-dollar figure itself is a source of controversy.

An analysis by the Independent Budget Office put the cost of the crisis at $600 million for fiscal year 2023, which runs July through June.

Adams even temporarily withdrew the $1 billion award while speaking to reporters while in Puerto Rico over the weekend.

Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan Adams’ paperwork delays Biden’s $1 billion migrant aid request


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