New York City Mayor Eric Adams has personally embarked on a mission to dissuade migrants from illegally crossing into the U.S. to seek asylum and then traveling to the Big Apple as their final destination.
The city, which is now receiving some 600 illegal border crossers a day, is “at capacity,” Adams said.
To get that message across, he traveled to three countries in Central and South America this week to make the case.
“We want to give people a true picture of what is here,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
During the tour, Adams plans to fight what he called misinformation that is coming from migrant smugglers and being popularized on social media platforms, where asylum-seekers are misled into thinking New York City will greet them with luxury and work opportunities.
The mayor said he will be appearing on radio stations, television channels and newspaper pages to deter potential migrants from coming to New York, which is part of a broader campaign of trying to discourage asylum-seekers that has also included fliers handed out at the border and trying to limit stays at shelters. […]
The visit includes stops in Mexico City and Puebla, which is also in Mexico, and Quito, Ecuador, where the mayor plans to visit asylum-seeker service providers and talk with government officials. He’s also going to the Darién gap, the rough, dense patch of jungle that spans the Colombia-Panama border region. (Politico)
“We need to counteract those forms of communications that are basically saying ‘You come to the City of New York, you’re going to automatically have a job, you’re going to be in a five star hotel,’” Adams said—a message that comes after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration identified 18,000 jobs available in the state to those who’ve obtained proper work authorizations.
And the city has been forking over big money to house the individuals in more than 100 hotels across the city, such as the Roosevelt and the Row NYC. In total, it’s estimated the illegal immigration crisis will cost the city $12 billion to house and care for them for the next three years.
Adams said he had to make an effort to stop the influx of illegal immigrants.
“It would be foolish for me to sit back and not try to stop this on a local, state, national and international level,” he said.
Heading off on our asylum seeker fact finding mission in Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia.— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) October 4, 2023
This crisis didn't start in New York City — but we're stepping up to lead and develop solutions at the local, national and international levels. pic.twitter.com/FQckNNCB57
On the ground in Mexico City. Off to meetings with the Consul General and then to the sacred Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Can't wait to get to work with our partners in the region. pic.twitter.com/NpRdYffepD— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) October 5, 2023
They call María Magdalena Silva Rentería "Sister Magda" — and she treats the migrant families from Central America seeking a better life like family. Her work organizing these communities is an inspiration. https://t.co/N5HQk54jKY— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) October 5, 2023
Más de medio millón de miembros de la comunidad de Puebla tienen su hogar en la ciudad de Nueva York y esta región de México se siente como un pedazo de casa. Se aprecian los valores comunes de comunidad y trabajo duro. pic.twitter.com/olFiAdPr5d— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) October 5, 2023
The trip comes as Adams is also asking a state judge to modify or suspend the city’s right-to-shelter mandate due to the crisis.