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Adams Says Migrants Are 'Destroying' NYC. Immigration Advocates Respond.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

New York City Mayor Eric Adams lamented on Friday how the migrant crisis is affecting the Big Apple and called on the Biden administration to help. 

“The city is being destroyed by the migrant crisis,” Adams said during a panel discussion at the African American Mayors Association Conference in Washington, D.C. 


Earlier in the week, Adams pointed out the massive cost of dealing with the situation.

The city is already out $817 million because of it, said Jacques Jiha, his budget director. And it’s staring down a $1.4 billion price tag for the fiscal year that ends June 30. There’s also a looming $2.9 billion for the next year, not to mention the impending lapse of Title 42, a restrictive Trump-era immigration policy.

Adams said it’s still unclear why the federal government — the White House in particular — hasn’t allocated more dollars to help the city respond to the crisis, which he insisted would help stave off cuts at the local level that are drumming up controversy around City Hall.

“The president and the White House have failed this city,” he said, adding that a less-than-punctual state budget is only adding to the stresses. (Politico)

The White House, meanwhile, said in a statement that it aims to help the city and called on Congress to act: 

“FEMA is also providing assistance to support the city as it receives migrants and will announce additional funding for receiving cities like New York City in the coming weeks, but we need Congress to provide the funds and resources we’ve requested to fix our long-broken immigration system.”

Immigration advocates denounced Adams' comments. 

“Mayor Adams is still playing a dangerous game of duck and weave, using inflammatory rhetoric to blame asylum seekers for his inability to manage New York’s budget, its agencies and the well-being of every New Yorker—the core elements of his job," said Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. "Meanwhile, he is throwing NY’s Congressional membership and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams under the bus – all of whom were just in D.C. this week to lobby on behalf of the city – by stating he is a lone wolf fighting to save his city. It would be funny if his words weren’t fanning the flames of animosity towards immigrant New Yorkers. It is long past time that Mayor Adams stopped treating people seeking safety as a crisis, and started investing in an infrastructure of permanent housing, legal representation, and social service supports that will allow asylum seekers, and all New Yorkers, to build their lives here. New Yorkers need solutions not demonization.”

Nearly 35,000 migrants are currently being housed in 112 shelters throughout the city.



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