New York City Mayor Adams Rebukes Biden for Migrant Crisis, Citing $4.2 Billion in Costs
FAIR Take | April 2023
New York City Mayor Eric Adams last week issued a sharp rebuke to President Biden for his immigration policies that have left the City inundated with illegal aliens. “The president and the White House have failed New York City on this issue,” Mayor Adams said during a press conference at City Hall.
Mayor Adams’ press conference came the day before he was scheduled to meet with federal officials to discuss the surge of migrants into New York City. Already infamously crowded and expensive, the City has been lurching from crisis to crisis as its services are overwhelmed by newly arriving illegal aliens. According to the New York Times, more than 55,000 migrants have arrived in New York City since the spring of 2022. Close to 35,000 are being housed by the city and are receiving services.
To deal with the influx, New York has opened more than 100 emergency shelters, and eight Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers. In March, Mayor Adams announced a new 24-hour center to welcome migrants, as well as the creation of a new agency to help coordinate the arrival of migrants. Last week, the city announced the opening of another emergency shelter, this one at a 492-room Holiday Inn in the Financial District.
Finally, at Tuesday’s press conference, Mayor Adams put a price tag on the cost of caring for the surge of illegal aliens: “$1.4 billion this fiscal year, 2.8 the next. Those are the numbers.” “This is one of the largest humanitarian crises that this city has ever experienced. It will impact every service in the city,” Mr. Adams said. “Why isn’t every elected official in Washington, D.C., asking the national government, ‘Why are you doing this to New York?’”
Looking ahead, Mayor Adams noted that the end of Title 42 would drive more illegal aliens into his city. He also cautioned that the price tag to care for illegal aliens could also grow.
Mayor Adams is one of the few Democratic leaders willing to acknowledge the out-of-control costs of illegal immigration and rightly blame the Biden administration. This comes out of necessity; the mayor can’t simply explain away the $4.2 billion dollars that illegal immigration will cost the city over two years.
Unfortunately for the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who elected him, Adams sees more destructive policies as the only proper solution for the migrant crisis that “sanctuary” laws and lax border controls created. For example, Adams has asked President Biden to simply hand out work permits to illegal migrants in his city. This non-solution, in addition to being a gross misuse of our immigration laws, would only make the problem worse. Allowing tens of thousands of illegal aliens into New York City’s job market just pushes out Adams’ struggling American constituents while making the city even more attractive for costly illegal migration.
What’s happening to New York City is proof that “sanctuary” policies are not only illegal but extremely self-destructive because they attract illegal aliens. Loosening federal immigration laws, as Adams calls for, will not end the costly flood of illegal immigrants that has left immigration courts with waits of up to a decade. The changes Adams proposes would only attract more migrants and further overwhelm expensive, inflation-wracked “sanctuary” cities across the country.
Solving this crisis will require ending the free-for-all at the border and being tougher, not weaker, in enforcing existing immigration laws. The Biden administration has simply stood by as hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens cross our borders every month, and actively aided hundreds of thousands more in flying directly into the U.S. It shouldn’t surprise Mayor Adams that many of these migrants will come to the city he insists is a “sanctuary” despite the huge costs to the city’s services. Ending the uncontrolled influx is the only solution to New York’s, and America’s, woes.
Ultimately, Adams is correct in saying that the Biden administration needs to clean up its mess. If Adams wanted to be truly courageous, he would admit that advertising New York City as a “sanctuary city” was a mistake, work with ICE to remove criminal aliens from the country, and call on the Biden administration to secure our borders.