A woman seeking asylum in New York City died by suicide in a shelter over the weekend, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday.
Adams called the Sunday death a tragedy and a “reminder that we have an obligation to do everything in our power to help those in need,” he said in a statement.
No other information was released about the death. During an unrelated press conference Monday, Adams referred to the woman as a mother. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
Adams also said Monday that the city has opened 23 emergency shelters for the 11,600 asylum seekers and migrants that had arrived in the city. He did not elaborate or give a time frame for that number, but WABC reported last week that over 11,000 asylum seekers have come to New York City since May, citing the mayor’s chief counsel. Many of them arrived in buses from Texas.
“This just really highlights how this issue is real,” Adams said.
New York City is among several U.S. sanctuary cities receiving migrants from Florida and Texas as Govs. Greg Abbot and Ron DeSantis sent busloads of migrants from their states in response to the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
Last week, Florida’s DeSantis sent about 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Authorities there requested a federal human trafficking probe Sunday. DeSantis and Abbott have also sent migrants to Chicago and Washington, where some were dropped off outside the home of Vice President Kamala Harris.
Adams referred to the influx of asylum seekers as a “humanitarian crisis created by human hands” in a CNN interview Sunday.
Adams encouraged asylum seekers to take advantage of the mental health care services available at New York’s Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center.
Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY