Eric Adams Crosses Continents to Find the Source of His Migrant Crisis. He Should Look Closer to Home
New York City Mayor Eric Adams may well go down in history as the “migration mayor”, with his term in office defined by the devastating consequences of unchecked illegal immigration in our nation’s largest city. The collapse of public order has been no less than spectacular, with battles breaking out among illegal alien street vendors, as thousands of these new arrivals join the city’s homeless population sleeping on the streets. New York politicians like Mayor Adams, however, are unwilling to admit that President Biden’s open-border policies, an abundance of social services, paid for at taxpayer expense, and an overly permissive asylum system are the root of this migrant crisis.
Rather than openly address these structural problems, Mayor Adams has advocated for non-solutions to accommodate illegal aliens in the U.S., such as urging the Biden Administration to expedite the processing of work permits for illegal aliens. His latest effort is a “migrant discouragement trip” to Central and South America.
Mayor Adams left last Wednesday on a four-day trip to Central America, where he stopped in Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, and the dangerous jungle region known as the Darien Gap, which stretches along the Panama-Colombia border. His goal was to spread the message that New York City is “at capacity” and convince migrants to pick other destinations in the U.S. (like equally beleaguered Chicago). This is in addition to a larger city-funded effort to distribute flyers and other materials at the U.S.-Mexico border to discourage illegal migrants from coming to the country’s largest sanctuary city.
Mayor Adams’s first two stops were Mexico City and Puebla, where he offered contradictory messages. In Mexico City, during a forum on Mexican-American business relations, Adams touted New York City’s attractiveness to businesses. Promoting NYC’s technology sector in particular, he extended an invitation: “Any tech companies out here, wherever you are, pack your bags, move to New York City and bring it here.” Afterward, in Puebla, he paid homage to the many Mexican immigrants who came from Puebla and then proclaimed that migrants coming to the city would not find an easy environment to work and live. “New York City has reached capacity, he said “[W]e don’t want to turn their aspiration for dreams into a nightmare.”
In Ecuador, the mayor toured two migrant centers where people were preparing for the dangerous trip up to the U.S. border. He told the migrants New York City’s shelters are full and many sleep on cots in congregate shelters.
Mayor Adams then traveled to Colombia. In the northern town of Necocli, where thousands of migrants start the perilous trek across the Darien gap, Adams said countries in the region need to “come together” to find solutions to the immigration crisis being felt across the Americas. He called on the U.S. government to create more “pathways” for migrants and to expedite the ability of asylum-seekers to work legally in the U.S.
The Mayor also praised Colombia for how it absorbed a large population of migrants from Venezuela. “When you look at Colombia they have really shown how to absorb individuals into their societies, and one of the most important ways to do it is to allow people to work,” Adams told reporters. “Nothing is more humane and, nothing is more American than your right to work, and we believe that is a right we should extend.”
Upon his return, Mayor Adams described the trip as an “eye-opener” and once again called for a change in immigration policy so that illegal aliens could work. “[W]e need to reexamine not only our long-term immigration policies but how do we allow people on a pathway of being self-sustaining. The only reason we are who we are as a country is because people had the right to work.”
Of course, giving illegal aliens work permits would only create an even larger surge of migrants to the southern border and a bigger burden for Americans who are footing the bill to provide them shelter and services. New York City remains a “sanctuary city” by a legal settlement entered into in the early 1980s. Its “right to shelter” is still in effect so that illegal aliens can access free housing and city services at taxpayer expense. This has long served as a magnet for illegal migrants to settle in New York.
Ultimately, however, it is the Biden administration’s disastrous dismantling of border security and abuses of immigration parole that are the cause of New York City’s migrant crisis; the City’s attractiveness to migrants makes it only the most visible symptom of a national disaster. Real solutions to New York City’s migrant crisis and the Biden administration’s border disaster can only begin with ending the policies at home that draw illegal immigrants here in the first place.