by Jarrett Stepman
The seemingly low-cost virtue signaling of declaring your non-border city or state a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants has now revealed its hefty price tag.
“If we don’t get the support we need, New Yorkers could be left with a $12 billion bill,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said last week of the now crisis-level illegal immigrants who continue to flow into the Big Apple.
According to The New York Times, over 100,000 illegal immigrants have arrived in New York City since the spring of 2022.
Politico explained what these numbers mean for New York:
The $12 billion is the estimate by summer of 2025 if the flow of migrants continues apace with current numbers, Adams said. Administration officials had previously forecast that the cost would reach more than $4 billion by next summer. The new estimation of $4 billion annually for three years is a significant portion of the city’s budget that is currently $107 billion. By comparison, the NYPD’s annual budget this year is $5.8 billion.
That’s looking like a serious fiscal crisis. I’d say the problem is a lot bigger than ice cream trucks.
New York is hardly the only big blue sanctuary city now getting hit hard by the tidal wave coming from the border.
The Wall Street Journal labeled this unfolding fiasco the “blue state migrant crisis.”
The Journal cataloged how sanctuary cities and states, from New York to Chicago to the District of Columbia, are now feeling the economic and governmental pressure that’s been a fact of life on the border.
“The political stunt of claiming to be ‘sanctuary’ cities and states that Democrats pulled during the Trump years isn’t fun anymore,” the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board wrote. “They’re learning how Texas and Florida feel. If they want relief, they’ll have to start putting more pressure on the Biden administration by being honest about its immigration failures.”
According to a July report from NBC News4, the D.C. Office of Migrant Services has spent more than $20 million dealing with the illegal immigrant influx, including “$11.8 million on hotel rooms that served as temporary housing for migrants.”
The city stopped this housing program because it ran out of money.
Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, a Democrat, has declared a state of emergency. She put out a call for Massachusetts residents to house thousands of illegal immigrant families seeking shelter. According to Boston 25 News, Healey said her state is spending “around $45 million a month to help assist these families.”
Massachusetts doesn’t have a sanctuary law, but its courts have effectively made it a sanctuary state, and many of its cities are sanctuary cities.
No surprise, Healey’s asking for federal aid.
San Francisco has an escalating fentanyl problem in large part due to Hondurans making the city a central business hub, thanks to their generous sanctuary city laws.
“In San Francisco, it’s like you’re here in Honduras,” an anonymous drug dealer told the San Francisco Chronicle in July. “The law, because they don’t deport, that’s the problem … Many look for San Francisco because it’s a sanctuary city. You go to jail and you come out.”
This only adds to the increasing misery of a city flush with tech money and little excuse for failure. The illegal immigration crisis has simply magnified its heart of darkness.
“Democratic governors and mayors, mayors in Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, here in New York, El Paso, Brownsville, all of the mayors have been saying that this is a national problem and we need national leadership,” Adams said in solidarity with other blue state leaders. To that, I say: “womp, womp.”
This is a mess of their own creation exacerbated by a White House that has shown no interest in getting serious about its border policies.
Honestly, it’s good to see these Democrat politicians squirm.
The reality is that the Biden administration’s border strategy revolves around keeping the widest door open for illegal entry into the United States on our southern border while saying over and over again that the border is “secure.”
President Joe Biden’s media allies have done their best to dismiss the problem and explain away why the historic numbers of people illegally coming across the border starting almost the minute he became president really isn’t his fault.
Remember the “seasonal surge” theory?
The latest media spin is that Biden magically fixed the border problem after the administration abandoned Title 42 a few months ago and that this was never a crisis at all. Of course, that doesn’t account for the millions of illegal immigrants who have already crossed our border with little consequence in the past few years.
The declaration of victory also seems extremely premature. After a few weeks of diminishing illegal border crossings (during which time the administration just waved in asylum-seekers), the numbers began going right back up.
“Illegal border crossings spiked by more than 30 percent last month, according to preliminary U.S. Customs and Border Protection data obtained by The Washington Post,” wrote Drew Holden in The Washington Free Beacon. “The Tucson, Ariz., border sector saw more migrant apprehensions in July—40,000—than in any previous month in 15 years.”
Whelp, there goes that narrative.
Blue cities, now beset by crisis, are increasingly begging the federal government for financial aid. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, had an excellent response to the idea that the federal government now needs to spend more money.
“These cartels are emboldened and they are empowered by a president who does not care about our southern border,” Roy said on Tuesday. “The president and this administration can go straight to hell.”
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Jarrett Stepman is a columnist for The Daily Signal. He is also the author of the book “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.“