New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) is sick and tired of migrants being sent to his city, despite its status as a sanctuary city for the last several decades.
It only took a few thousand immigrants to upset the delicate balance of NYC’s homeless shelters and other resources, and now Adams has turned on President Joe Biden, blaming him for the illegal immigration crisis and calling it a “real embarrassment.”
When asked about the crisis and its impact on his city by WABC, Adams said, “It’s a real embarrassment, I believe, on a national level, and we must have an appropriate response. We have had conversations around the issues on migrants for decades. This is a national issue. It must have a national response.”
“This is a Biden issue, a Democrat issue that now folks like you have to deal with. To be specific and fair, that’s just the truth,” the host, Sid Rosenberg said.
Going to need Congress
“Well, when we think about the immigration reform, we’re going to need the help from Congress as well,” Adams replied. “I think the president has an obligation to deal with the immediate concerns. But when we talk about immigration, it is going to take a combination of the executive and the legislative body. We have to address this.”
There were more than 2.3 million immigrant encounters in 2022, and there stand to be even more this year with the eventual end of Title 42 and a larger flood of immigrants heading to the border than ever.
The White House has tried to claim that it is dealing with the situation, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying, “What Americans should know is that the president has done the work to deal with what we’re seeing at the border since day one.”
But Republicans have pointed to any number of steps Biden could take to stem the tide of immigrants, including finishing the border wall, being more aggressive about deporting those here illegally, and requiring migrants to seek asylum in other countries before they get to the U.S. (Biden is working on this one).
“No more room at the inn”
Biden’s inaction has led border states to take their own actions, including bussing migrants to supposed sanctuary cities like New York, Chicago, Houston, and Washington, D.C.
Adams says that 30,000 migrants have been sent to New York, which has disrupted quality of life there.
“El Paso should not be going through this. Chicago should not be going through this. Houston, Washington, New York, no city should have to make a decision if they’re going to provide for their citizens, particularly coming out of Covid or if they’re going to deal with an onslaught of migrants and asylum seekers,” he said.
He called it “unfair” that local governments have been forced to deal with what he calls a “national obligation.”
“There’s no more room at the inn, but we are compelled by local laws here that we must provide shelter and continue to move in the right direction,” he said.
Sanctuary cities don’t work
Adams’ reaction exposes the problems with the whole sanctuary city idea–it only works if no one–or almost no one–actually takes advantage of the designation.
He could change the law that makes NYC a sanctuary city or work to get it changed, but then he’d have to admit that there is a need for strict immigration policies–and no one on the left is willing to do that.