Funds For Immigrants: On Sunday, Mayor Eric Adams spoke to a gathering of migrants outside a church in Texas, more than 2,000 miles from New York City, promising to fight for their right to employment and the chance to “live the American dream.” The audience started to applaud and clap when the mayor’s remarks were translated into Spanish.
The mayor’s optimistic message, however, stood in stark contrast to his challenging objective on his visit to the southern border, where he is attempting to put more pressure on President Biden to aid New York City, which is grappling with an inflow of migrants. He is demanding that they cease visiting his city while simultaneously displaying compassion for those whose lives have been turned upside down.
On the ground in El Paso last night. This is a national crisis and we need a national solution. Mayors like @OscarLeeser and I are on the front lines and we need federal support. pic.twitter.com/MkD8xZelNf
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) January 15, 2023
One of Mr. Adams’ biggest difficulties as mayor is the immigration situation. Over the past year, more than 40,000 people have unexpectedly arrived in New York City, placing a strain on both the city’s finances and its system for housing the homeless. Mr. Adams decided to go to the border after requesting additional assistance from the federal government for several weeks. One week after Vice President Biden visited El Paso and announced a fresh crackdown on border crossings, he made his journey.
Record numbers of migrants have been detained while attempting to enter the border illegally. In the 12 months before October 2021, the Border Patrol met 1.7 million migrants attempting to cross illegally, which was a record high since 1960. On his 24-hour journey to El Paso, Mr. Adams, a Democrat approaching his second term in office, had a busy schedule while attempting to keep most of it hidden from the public.
— Fabien Levy (@Fabien_Levy) January 16, 2023
During a press conference on Sunday, Mr. Adams requested assistance from federal officials for the locations that are accepting migrants, and that was the only event that was available to the media. We don’t deserve this, he said, “Our cities are being weakened. We demand more from our national leaders to address this in a genuine sense.”
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Adams urged Mr. Biden to designate a top executive at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to oversee a coordinated response on a national level to the catastrophe and announced that he would be traveling to Washington this week to continue his campaign. Mr. Adams stated on Friday that the city’s expenses for migrant services might reach $2 billion, which is a huge increase from earlier projections.
Mr. Adams replied, “The full amount,” when asked how much he expected the federal government to pay on Sunday. The mayor’s trip, according to the city comptroller Brad Lander, accomplished nothing to bring in money for New York and “risks supporting a detrimental narrative that new immigrants themselves are a problem,” he said on Sunday. The prosperity of New York City has been fueled by immigrants for generations, not by them “undermining” the city, according to Democrat Mr. Lander.
On Saturday, Mr. Adams visited with the mayor of El Paso, Oscar Leeser, who led him to a location where migrants frequently cross the border and where people were camped out in tents. According to Fabien Levy, a representative for Mr. Adams who accompanied him on the trip, Mr. Adams spoke with Mr. Leeser, a Democrat, once again the next day and then went to Sacred Heart Church, a refuge for migrants.
The dilemma, according to Mr. Levy, “is that these people are being promised things before they cross the border that is just not accessible.” Mr. Adams also went to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility and a monument at Walmart where 23 people lost their lives in a horrific shooting in 2019. Mr. Adams has struggled to respond to the massive influx of migrants coming into New York City on buses, frequently changing his language and tactics.
Mr. Adams has argued that immigrants should be able to work legally in the city more swiftly because the city has given thousands of migrants and their children shelter, food, clothes, and educational opportunities. However, the mayor has occasionally used a stern tone, urging Mr. Biden to reduce the number of people crossing the border and declaring just after Christmas that there was “no more space at the inn” in New York for further refugees.
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Mr. Adams has stated that the migrant situation may necessitate changes to fundamental local services as the city faces escalating financial difficulties. He reaffirmed on Sunday that the city could not accept any more immigrants and mentioned that roughly 800 had just arrived. He declared, “New York cannot bear more.
We cannot. In the spring, Republican officials in Florida and Texas started sending a wave of asylum seekers across the southern border to cities with Democratically elected officials, including New York, Washington, and Chicago. They claimed that by doing so, they were giving left-leaning communities with so-called sanctuary city policies a taste of the border crisis. In an appearance with “PBS NewsHour” on Friday, Mr. Adams said that the Biden administration was burdening cities like New York.
He claimed that 36,000 people had shown up “on our doorsteps,” adding that “we did what any New Yorker would do — we provided for them not only housing, a place to sleep, with food, and health care; we educated a significant number of children, and we are also providing the necessary mental health support that is needed.”
A small group of advisors, including Mr. Adams’ new chief of staff Camille Joseph Varlack, his commissioner for emergency management Zachary Iscol, and his commissioner for immigrant affairs Manuel Castro, accompanied Mr. Adams on their trip to El Paso. Mr. Castro has greeted new arrivals of migrants at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan; Mr. Iscol assisted in the building of a sizable housing facility for migrants on Randalls Island that has since closed.
When word spread that the mayor was visiting Sacred Heart Church in El Paso on Sunday, a group of roughly 40 migrants gathered outside. As they waited to meet him, one mother cradled a newborn who was wrapped in a blanket, and another woman gave a youngster rice and beans. Someone out loud questioned whether he was there to distribute documents allowing migrants to fly to New York.
Mr. Adams paused the group to engage in conversation and inquired of one of the men how he had learned of New York City. The guy replied in Spanish, “Only in movies and television,” and the mayor chuckled. Don’t forget to share this news with your loved ones, and check out Talkxbox.