- New York City Mayor Eric Adams said on Wednesday that the surging migrant crisis will “destroy” the city and warned residents it’s “going to come to your neighborhoods.”
- Adams previously touted New York City’s sanctuary status and backed a number of pro-immigration initiatives during his time in New York City politics.
- New York City has cared for over 100,000 migrants with 10,000 more arriving every month, and $12 billion is projected to be spent to address the crisis.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ immigration rhetoric has changed drastically as the city’s migrant crisis has grown increasingly urgent.
Adams began his time in New York politics by touting the city’s sanctuary status and encouraging migrants to come to the Big Apple, according to a number of social media posts and public statements. But an increase in illegal migrants and asylum seekers under the Biden administration, specifically in the Big Apple, has led Adams to recently issue a warning that the crisis “will destroy New York City.”
In years prior, Adams promoted New York City as a “destination” for undocumented migrants and asylum seekers, according to a number of social media posts and public statements. Adams historically decried critics of the city’s sanctuary status and ran on a pro-immigration platform during his time as Borough President of Brooklyn from 2014 to 2021.
“To all of my fellow New Yorkers who are undocumented, I say: New York City is your home too,” Adams said on Twitter in 2014.
“We will continue to stand with the nearly 40 percent of New Yorkers who are foreign-born – documented or undocumented,” he said in a separate 2017 tweet.
A reminder to the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free: pic.twitter.com/fkUZHOqNPL
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) August 5, 2017
Adams ran in the city’s mayoral race in 2021, and received credit from right-wing commentator and Daily Caller News Foundation co-founder Tucker Carlson, who agreed with Adams’ plan to fight crime in the city more seriously than his predecessor. Adams responded that he didn’t want Carlson’s “racist, anti-immigrant” support.
“I don’t want or need the support of Tucker Carlson, or anyone else who perpetuates racist, anti-immigrant propaganda,” Adams said on Twitter in May 2021.
“New York City is, and has always been, a city of immigrants,” Adams said in a tweet from June 2021. “We are a destination for diversity and a place where people from every nation seek refuge, raise families, and enrich our communities. Under my administration, our government will reflect that.” (RELATED: New York City Is Shelling Out $8 Million Per Day To House Migrants)
“We should protect our immigrants. Period. Yes, New York City will remain a sanctuary city under an Adams administration,” Adams said in a tweet from October 2021.
Adams backed legislation on a number of pro-immigration issues, including a plan released in June 2021 that would “severely restrict” collaboration between the city’s police department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to Documented.
“Immigrants and blue-collar workers built this city and make it run today. Yet those New Yorkers have not had one of their own in charge for generations.”
But together, we can change that: I’ll be a blue-collar Mayor for all New Yorkers.https://t.co/mNIdqYPGpO
— Eric Adams (@ericadamsfornyc) May 26, 2021
“We need to ensure that [undocumented immigrants] receive healthcare and protection…that ICE is never in a position to partner with the police department and harm them,” Adams said on Twitter in June 2021. “We also need to make sure we treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
Adams also supported granting voting rights to undocumented migrants, an initiative he eventually signed into law after being elected mayor in January 2022, according to NBC News.
In April 2022, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing thousands of migrants to Democrat-run cities, including New York City, out of protest of what Abbott described as the Biden administration’s “refusal to secure the border.”
Adams called Abbott’s decision “horrific,” but welcomed migrants into the city and was “proud that [New York] is a right-to-shelter state,” during an NBC News interview in August 2022.
“[That is] our responsibility as a city, I’m proud that this is a right-to-shelter state and we’re going to continue to do that,” Adams said. “New York is a city that has always represented the democratic values and the values of our city of showing compassion, and that’s what we’re doing today.”
In October 2022, Adams declared a state of emergency to manage the surge of migrants being bused into the city. Adams also called on the Biden administration to increase its efforts to halt the surge of migrants coming through the southern border in early January 2023, as border authorities encountered over 2,000,000 migrants this fiscal year.
“I’m speaking directly to the administration,” Adams said. “This is a problem that we must have a resolution both from Congress on immigration, but [also] the administration to deal with the immediate need that we have.”
The city started issuing flyers at the southern border in July, warning that it does not have any more room to house or support migrants. During a press conference announcing the flyers, Adams said that New York City is at “full capacity.”
“This cannot continue. It’s not sustainable, and we’re not going to pretend as though it is sustainable,” Adams said at the press conference. “This is wrong that New York City is carrying the weight of a national problem.”
In August, Adams predicted that the crisis would cost New York City roughly $12 billion dollars, and requested a judge to suspend a court ruling that requires the city to provide shelter to anyone who requests it, NPR reported.
New York City has now cared for over 100,000 migrants with thousands more on the way. Adams warned that the growing crisis will “destroy” the city during a town hall meeting on Wednesday.
“This issue will destroy New York City. We’re getting 10,000 migrants a month,” Adams said on Wednesday. “Every community in this city is going to be impacted… It’s gonna come to your neighborhoods. All of us are going to be impacted by this.”
“The city we knew, we’re about to lose,” Adams said.
Adams’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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