(The Center Square) – The city of New York Human Resources Administration in partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs is looking to retain a vendor to provide service operations and case management at its NYC Asylum Seeker Service Navigation Center and satellite sites located citywide. The satellite sites will be located near “City Sanctuary Shelter” locations in neighborhoods in all five boroughs “in which recently arrived asylum seeker and immigrant New Yorkers commonly reside.”

The city plans to grant one $6.75 million contract to a single nonprofit that will likely subcontract out work to other entities.

Applicants will be judged by three criteria – experience, proposed approach, and organizational capability/ability to mobilize immediately.

The nonprofit awarded the grant will be responsible for recruiting volunteers, managing clients, disseminating public information and educational information, distributing supplies and other resources, according to the announcement.

The city announced the potential grant after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began sending buses of foreign nationals who’d entered the U.S. illegally to New York City from the Texas-Mexico border who’d been released into Texas by the Biden administration. The city is a so-called sanctuary city, it’s mayor says, which has refused to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to arrest and deport most people residing in the city illegally.

So far, Texas has sent more than 900 people to New York City since Aug. 5 as part of a way to provide what Abbott says is “much-needed relief to our overwhelmed border communities.” He said earlier this month that “New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city.”

At an Aug. 9 emergency City Council hearing, NYC Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary Jenkins said the city had opened 11 hotels to accommodate an influx of foreign nationals.

New York, as a right-to-shelter city, is “legally and morally obligated” to provide temporary housing to individuals, Jenkins said.

“The influx of asylum-seekers definitely put a strain [on the system], and that’s why we had to pivot to open up emergency hotels. To date, we’ve opened 11,” he said. “We’re legally and morally mandated to have temporary housing to those who present to us.”

New York started to see an influx of people well before Abbott began sending buses to the city. Jenkins said officials started seeing foreign nationals arriving in great numbers in May. Since then, the city’s recorded more than 4,000 people arriving. By Aug. 9, there were roughly 17,000 people in the city’s emergency shelters, including 8,800 children, Jenkins said.

By comparison, Texas has seen roughly 5,000 people illegally enter and be apprehended a day, with well over 100,000 coming through its five sectors alone last month.

Abbott has invited New York City’s mayor to visit the Texas-Mexico border to see first-hand what he described as the chaos erupting there. The mayor has not publicly responded to the invitation, instead he blames Abbott for the “humanitarian crisis” his city is experiencing.

Abbott argues the crisis has been created by President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who’ve altered federal immigration law created by Congress.

Since Biden’s been in office, roughly 5 million people from over 150 countries have entered the U.S. illegally, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data, including “gotaway” data obtained by The Center Square.

“Gotaways” is the term CBP uses for those who’ve intentionally entered the U.S. illegally and evaded law enforcement who haven’t made asylum or immigration claims. CBP collects “gotaway” data but doesn’t publicly report it. The Center Square has obtained this information directly from Border Patrol agents.

The 5 million figure includes 3.9 million who’ve been apprehended entering the U.S. illegally nationwide, including 3.4 million through the southern border. It also includes a minimum of 900,000 gotaways, although that number is likely higher, Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officials have told The Center Square.

The estimated 5 million are now greater than the individual populations of 25 states. They are also greater than the populations of all of the largest cities in the U.S. excluding New York City based on 2022 data.

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