New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks onstage during the New York City Ballet 2022 Spring Gala at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on May 05, 2022 in New York City.
CNN  — 

Mayor Eric Adams wants the Federal Emergency Management Agency to stop allocating money to cities that are using the funding to rent buses and send migrants to New York City, according to a city official. Adams’ call comes as the Biden administration braces for a further influx of migrants when the Covid-era border restriction, known as Title 42, expires in May.

Adams met with administration officials, including FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, in Washington, DC, last Friday. He told Criswell that cities that bus migrants to New York City should not be given funding but he wasn’t given a direct answer on the request, the official said.

More than 50,000 asylum seekers have arrived in the city since last spring, some of them bused to New York and other more liberal northeastern towns and cities by Republican governors and local officials from southern states. But what was originally seen as a stunt or political provocation – intended to expose what conservatives describe as hypocrisy among immigrant-friendly Democratic leaders – has mushroomed into a crisis for Adams, who is desperately seeking federal aid. Advocates’ anger over the treatment of the migrants by the city, which initially set up tent camps as shelters, is creating pressure from the left on a mayor who is now threatening budget cuts to everything from libraries to the fire department and Department of Homeless Services.

The cash crunch – which some of the mayor’s critics say he is trying to parlay into leverage in the budget fight – has also created some public fissures between Adams and the Biden administration. The mayor has been increasingly critical of the White House’s handling of the crisis and raised eyebrows recently when he declared at a news conference that “the national government has turned its back on New York City.” It was the kind of public comment Biden was likely trying to avoid going public when his political operation named Adams to its national advisory board, a group of Democratic leaders expected to stump for the president as the 2024 campaign ramps up.

But the legal implications of Adams’ request are likely thornier than the political relationships in the balance. A Homeland Security official told CNN that there are guardrails on charter busing for cities when it comes to the use of agency funds for those buses. They can only qualify for reimbursement if it’s done in coordination with the receiving cities, according to the official.

The Department of Homeland Security has had multiple conversations with Adams’ team and the mayor himself about the issue, according to a source familiar.

CNN has reached out to FEMA and the White House for comment.

The influx of migrants along the US southern border has dogged President Joe Biden over the course of his presidency. The issue started with the rush of unaccompanied children – which caught the administration flatfooted – followed by images of thousands of Haitian migrants gathered under a bridge along the US-Mexico border.

Administration officials have been racing to set up new policies to stem the flow of migration, but even with those policies in place, officials recognize that they could be faced with an overwhelming number of people at the border who have been anticipating the end of Title 42, which has been the primary enforcement tool since 2020.

This isn’t the first time the New York City mayor has called upon FEMA to “step up” regarding the nation’s migrant crisis.

“We need a real leadership moment from FEMA. This is a national crisis. FEMA deals with national crises,” Adams said at a news conference in January when he visited El Paso, Texas. “FEMA must step up and there should be one coordinator to coordinate everything that is happening dealing with migrants and asylum seekers in our country.”

Last week, Adams said the financial burden of the migrant crisis is “decimating the foundation of our city” and said every municipal service in New York City will be impacted by the migrant crisis.

New York City saw 2,300 new migrants arrive over an one-week period ending Wednesday, according to City Hall. Approximately 200 new asylum seekers are estimated to arrive to the city each day, but one day earlier this week had nearly 500 new arrivals.

City officials project that they will spend $4.3 billion on the influx of migrants by the end of June 2024, NYC budget director Jacques Jiha said last Wednesday.

“No municipality can absorb this kind of cost without cracking,” Jiha said. “This is a huge burden and we’re not raising taxes. So the only way we could manage is to find efficiencies in other places in city government.”

Last Wednesday, Adams criticized the Biden administration, saying that the federal government has “abandoned” the city to deal with the migrant crisis on its own.

“Washington, it’s time to respond. Enough is enough,” Adams said.

Roughly 58,300 asylum seekers arrived in New York City and have been processed through the city’s shelter system over nearly a year. There are also more than 36,100 asylum seekers currently in the city’s care, according to City Hall.

New York City currently has 112 emergency shelters and has opened eight Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers in response to the influx of migrants.