New York City and New York state are on a collision course regarding how to handle the ever-increasing migrant crisis. Mayor Eric Adams appears to have had enough of the growing numbers of homeless immigrants encamped on his doorstep and has sent his strongest message yet to Governor Kathy Hochul that she needs to do her part. It seems that what is playing out in the Empire State is really a perfect microcosm of what is happening across the nation, and it is an example that national leaders appear to neither notice nor understand.
Adams vs. Hochul
On Tuesday, August 29, Mayor Adams lashed out at the governor over her stance that incoming arrivals should not be shipped out to other parts of the state. “I think the governor’s wrong,” he said. “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.”
Adams asked Governor Hochul to issue a statewide order that would block counties from passing rules to bar the illegal immigrants. She responded that migrants should not be forced on other counties, and insisted that the “right to shelter” mandate – a policy dating back to the 80s, which guarantees that accommodation shall be provided to the homeless – does not extend beyond New York City:
“This is an agreement that does not apply to the state’s other 57 counties, which is one of the reasons we cannot and will not force other parts of our state to shelter migrants, nor are we going to be asking these migrants to move to other parts of the state against their will.”
This sentiment echoes her earlier statements on the subject of moving excess migrants out of the Big Apple, in which she noted, “Putting someone in a hotel on a dark, lonely road in Upstate New York and telling them they’re supposed to survive is not compassion.”
Worlds Within Worlds
The NYC leader wants each county in the state to take its “fair share” of illegal immigrants in order to ease the increasing burden on the Five Boroughs. It seems he now finds himself in a position endured by southern states for decades. His complaints echo those heard nearer the border and, in fact, this is an issue that certain Republican governors have taken to heart.
Despite verbal beatings from the legacy media and tongue-lashings courtesy of the White House, Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas have been “sharing” their illegal migrant population by flying people to areas of the country that have declared themselves Sanctuary Cities. The reasoning behind the governors’ stance goes something like: You invited them, you said you wanted them, time to take your share.
The longstanding predicament of border states is all too similar to that now facing Mayor Adams. As resources run dry, and more than 100,000 immigrants remain in need of assistance, the policeman-turned-politician delivered a warning to his state leader: “[W]e are the economic engine of this state. New York goes down. The entire state goes down.”
Little Town Blues Writ Large
In early August – with more than a hint of desperation – Adams explained that his city was at breaking point, saying, “As the number of asylum seekers in our care continues to grow by hundreds every day, stretching our system to its breaking point and beyond, it has become more and more of a Herculean effort to find enough beds every night.” With this tacit declaration of defeat, he announced the creation of a new tent city on Randalls Island.
The city that never sleeps once billed itself as a place that welcomed all comers – indeed, it is even written on a statue in the harbor. However, the notion that unlimited immigration is sustainable has been proven wrong. Mayor Adams is late to the game in understanding that resources are finite, actions have consequences, and those in positions of higher power are not going to come to the rescue. Welcome to the rest of America, Mr. Mayor.
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