New York City Mayor Eric Adams slammed fellow Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul for pushing back on his controversial migrant “decompression strategy,” urging “real leadership” from Albany to push asylum seekers into communities across the state, lessening the burden on the Big Apple.
During a fireside conversation hosted by New York Law School, a professor asked Adams to respond to concern over tents erected to house migrants in outer boroughs such as Queens. In response, the mayor re-upped his warning last year that the migrant crisis is “going to come to a neighborhood near you,” again throwing criticism toward “two Republican governors” – veiled shots at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – for sending migrants from the border to self-declared liberal sanctuary cities like New York, Houston, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
But Adams also went after his own Democrat governor.
“You think I enjoy displacing children playing soccer on Randall’s Island? I don’t enjoy disrupting the community in Staten Island. I don’t enjoy watching this happen to New York City residents. But we are required to provide basic care,” Adams said. “And that’s why Governor Hochul has been a partner on subway safety, on crime, on a host of things. But I think this issue, I think the governor’s wrong. She’s the governor of the State of New York. New York City is in that state. Every county in this state should be part of this. We have 0.05 of the landmass in this state, and we have almost 99% of the migrant asylum seekers.”
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Mayor Eric Adams has vehemently defended New York City’s migrant response. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
“This is a real leadership moment, and all those counties, we are the economic engine of this state,” he continued. “New York goes down, the entire state goes down. And New Yorkers, I want to be honest with you, this keeps me up at night. This could erode everything that we have accomplished. This is a humanitarian crisis of a national proportion.”
Adams also took aim at New Yorkers complaining about migrants moving into their neighborhoods.
An anti-migrant rally outside Gracie Mansion on Aug. 27, 2023 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
“This is wrong on New Yorkers. When I hear someone that’s saying in Middle Village, Staten Island or wherever, say, “’Eric, why is this tent in my block?’ My question is, ‘Where have you been? I told you what we were dealing with,’” Adams said. “Day after day after day, I’m saying, ‘New Yorkers, we have to rise up. We have to speak to our federal lawmakers and let Washington know that this should not be happening to New York City.’ Now, we can’t start saying, ‘This is unfair that it’s in Middle Village.’ Then tell me what community to move it to. Should I move it to the South Bronx? Should I move it to Harlem? Should I move it to South Jamaica? No community should be going through this, but the reality is, we’ve run out of space, and I have to open wherever you think.”
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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has criticized Adams’ migrant resettlement plan. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The mayor also repeated his claim that it is “un-American” not to allow the approximately 100,000 asylum seekers who have come to New York City to legally work in the United States, citing the 1.3 million people who came through Ellis Island at one point and were “absorbed” by New York City.
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“We need to deal with this at the border. We need to have a decompression strategy,” Adams said. “We have almost 108,000 cities across our entire country. Everyone should absorb this. They dropped this all on New York City. We’re up to 104,000. Two hundred emergency shelters, several HERRCs we’ve opened. We have to feed, clothe, house, healthcare.”