5 Democratic Mayors Plead With Biden for Help With ‘Asylum Seekers Being Brought to Our Cities’

Five Democratic mayors have asked President Joe Biden for a meeting to discuss the illegal alien crisis their cities are facing. 

The mayors of Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York City sent a letter to Biden on Saturday “requesting an urgent meeting with you to directly discuss ways we can work with your administration to avoid large numbers of additional asylum seekers being brought to our cities with little to no coordination, support, or resources.” 

The mayors, all of whom lead sanctuary cities with the exception of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, told the president they need four things. First, they are asking for additional federal funding.

Mayors Brandon Johnson of Chicago, Karen Bass of Los Angeles, Mike Johnston of Denver, and Eric Adams of New York City, and Turner begin the letter by thanking Biden for the $1.4 billion in federal funding for food, shelter, and additional services for illegal aliens. But that’s not enough, according to the Democratic mayors. 

“Cities have historically absorbed and integrated new migrants with success, but the challenges brought by the new border arrivals are due not only to the high numbers, but also the diversity of nationalities, the large share arriving as families, and the overwhelming number who seek asylum,” the mayors write. “Given the impact this crisis has had—and continues to have—on state and local budgets, we respectfully advocate for additional funding.” 

According to the five Democrats, Denver is spending about $2 million a week on shelter for illegal aliens, New York City has spent more than $1.7 billion, and Chicago has spent more than $320 million. 

In order to help the illegal aliens arriving in their cities while still providing services to citizens, the mayors have asked Biden for “$5 billion to cover the expenditures our cities have already incurred and to continue serving the growing number of people arriving in our communities.”

Additionally, the mayors have asked Biden to “[a]ccelerate approval of work authorization and adjudication for eligible applicants.” Specifically, the leaders are asking Biden to remove barriers to work authorization so applicants can receive approval to work within a 30-day window.

Furthermore, the Democrats have asked the president to “increase access to work authorization.”

“Our strong request is that anyone who has arrived in this country and is approved with an Alien Registration Number, or A-Number, has the ability to work,” they write.

Finally, the five mayors have asked Biden to “[a]dopt a collaborative federal approach around coordinated entry.”

The mayors say they are “confident that we could lead a coalition of cities that could identify shared available capacity, welcome newcomers in a way that would set them up for success and relieve the burden on border cities and destination cities receiving far greater numbers than can be supported.” 

The mayors of Denver and Chicago met with senior Biden administration officials at the White House on Thursday to discuss the current crisis their cities are facing. Adams, the New York City mayor, was originally slated to attend the meeting, but canceled his trip to Washington unexpectedly Thursday morning. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the two mayors met with White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients and senior adviser to the President Tom Perez, along with other officials from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. Jean-Pierre described the meeting as a “constructive conversation.”

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