New York’s Eric Adams: White House is ‘wrong’ on migrant asylum issue

New York’s Eric Adams: White House is ‘wrong’ on migrant asylum issue

By Rafael Bernal | October 4, 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) said Tuesday the White House is “wrong on immigration,” reviving a line of criticism that’s become an ongoing rift between him and the Biden administration.

In an interview with Semafor’s Ben Smith, Adams praised the Biden administration on other issues but underscored his split on immigration.

“I think the president has done a great job, we’ve stood side by side around crime, we stood side by side around environmental issues, but on this issue, I believe the White House is wrong,” he said.

The former police officer has been a thorn in the administration’s side on immigration with vocal complaints about the costs of sheltering newly arrived migrants who often can’t legally work.

Last month, Adams signaled a thaw after the Biden administration redesignated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), essentially fast-tracking work permits for more than 400,000 Venezuelans in the United States.

Adams’s praise of the Biden administration’s move soothed concerns among many migrant advocates who were concerned the mayor’s tough rhetoric on immigration risked fostering threats and violence against migrants.

Protests against migrants have been escalating in some parts of New York. In Staten Island in the past month, protesters have targeted a school being used to house 60 migrants and have blocked a bus carrying migrants, leading to 10 arrests.

Adams criticized those protesters, some of whom chanted, “You’re not welcome,” saying, “If the numerical minority decide to use hateful terms and hateful words — that is not a reflection of who the city is.”

Yet Adams, who was widely criticized for saying New York would be “destroyed” by the costs of sheltering migrants, on Tuesday reiterated his New Yorkers-versus-migrants vision.

Asked by Smith whether he feared alienating the Biden administration and risking future federal funds for the city’s shelters, Adams said the fiscal burdens are being borne by city residents.

“First of all, right now it’s coming out of the pockets of New York City taxpayers, we need to understand that. We received a little over $100 million from the federal government, the rest is coming from New York City taxpayers,” he said.

“And that means giving money to struggling low-income New Yorkers. All those programs we put in place to finally allow New Yorkers to move out of systemic poverty are now being challenged.”

Adams is due to arrive in Mexico City on Wednesday on the first leg of a trip through Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama meant to discourage migrants from setting their eyes on New York City.

Adams’s office did not respond to The Hill’s request for comment on the trip.

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