Dems Turn on Each Other Over New York Migrant Crisis

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
August 16, 2023

New York's Democratic governor is blaming New York City mayor Eric Adams over the state's migrant crisis, while the mayor is pointing the finger at the Biden administration.

In a Tuesday letter, lawyers representing Gov. Kathy Hochul criticized Adams, a fellow Democrat, for his handling of the migrant crisis in his city. The letter argues the city's missteps led to a crisis-level shortage of housing for illegal immigrants.

"In particular, the City chose to send migrants to counties and localities outside of the City with-little-or-no [sic] notice to or coordination with the State or those counties and localities," the state’s counsel, Faith Gay, said in the letter, referencing Adams's practice of busing of migrants out of his city into surrounding municipalities, which local officials have resisted.

Hochul's administration also said Adams failed to take up its offers to assist earlier in the crisis, the New York Times reported:

In an apparent attempt to fend off even costlier new requests from the Adams administration, the letter criticizes the city for failing to accept numerous state offers of assistance over the last year, including the use of more than a dozen state-controlled sites that it said could be converted into shelters to house more than 3,000 migrants.

It blames the city for being slow to act, saying the Adams administration ignored a suggestion to begin setting up large "tent-based or base camp sites" for single adult men beginning in June 2022, waiting months to do so. (A spokesman for the governor later clarified that state officials pushed for congregate shelters in July, and tent camps in the fall.)

The letter also says the city did not prioritize helping migrants fill out paperwork to start getting their work permits, meaning thousands who could now be working are not.

New York City Democrats have largely focused their frustrations over the migrant surge at the White House instead of Albany. Democratic politicians rallied outside City Hall this month and called on the federal government for more help.

Adams this week called it "unacceptable" that the Biden administration has not expedited work permits for migrants.

The mayor's push to move migrants out of the city comes after Adams promised on the campaign trail that New York would "remain a sanctuary city under an Adams administration." Yet Adams has repeatedly said the city has "no room" for migrants.

New York City claims it has take in around 100,000 migrants since last spring. The United States has brought in more than half a million migrants since President Joe Biden took office.