The Highland County Press: Adams travels on pointless ‘migrant discouragement tour’
By JOE GUZZARDI
October 8, 2023
New York Mayor Eric Adams has embarked on a four-day journey to Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia to speak with government officials and prospective migrants. Adams’ mission is to dissuade the would-be migrants from trekking to New York.
As Adams sees things, a steady misinformation diet has precipitated the migrant invasion. Stay home, Adams will warn Mexicans, Ecuadorians, and Colombians; New York’s streets aren’t paved with gold. The media, perhaps mocking Adams, labels his trip the “Migrant Discouragement Tour.”
Before taking off on his journey’s first leg, Adams said that he would “speak with [Central and South American] leaders there to really start the process of understanding the flow of migrants here to New York City and throughout the entire country.” The mayor is feeling the heat. Asylum-seekers are arriving in New York now at the rate of about 800 a day, twice the average of previous months.
In the end, Adams’ decision to travel to the migration crisis hot spots will: 1) waste his breath, 2) piddle away his time, 3) squander taxpayer money and 4) since he has no sway in Mexico, Ecuador, or Colombia, call his judgment into question. His trip brings to mind the June 2021 trip to the Northern Triangle nations of “Border Czar” and Vice President Kamala Harris. The reported purpose of that trip: to identify the root cause of migration and stamp it out. Harris’ pointless, futile, public relations-inspired trip was more than two years and several million arriving migrants ago.
As seen through desperate migrants’ eyes, New York is a welcoming beacon of hope, and Adams has done nothing to discourage the invasion. New York, preparing for the worst, extended its contract with the Hotel Association of New York City for up to three more years through August 2026 at a staggering additional cost of about $1.4 billion, nearly five times the original sum.
The extended contract would pay only the rental fees to more than 100 hotels converted into emergency migrant shelters. Excluded from the $1.4 billion is the cost of city facilities and other rented sites that house the homeless asylum seekers who pour into the Big Apple by the thousands every week. The hotel expenses will be added to the $12 billion that the Adams administration previously projected as the costs to accommodate the endlessly arriving illegal immigrants.
Adams could take some steps to push back against the invasion that he has said will “destroy” New York. But he’s done little to ease the pressure. His glad-handing tour counts for nothing. Adams’ GOP critics, his fellow Democrats and overwhelmed city residents have proposed five stopgap solutions that Adams should heed.
First, cancel, don’t extend, the housing contracts. Second, turn arriving buses around, and reroute them to Washington, D.C. or to Delaware. President Biden is the “root cause” of the migration mess; shift the burden of care to him. Third, bus, at city expense, single men to the destination of their choice, ideally to a U.S. relative’s home.
Don’t give them a hotel room, and don’t erect any more tent cities. And if the migrants find the going tough, maybe they will advise their social media friends that coming to the U.S. isn’t as advertised. Social media helped drive the invasion; maybe it can play a role in ending it.
Fourth, identify where illegally present aliens are working off-the-book, and advise their employers that they are breaking federal law, as are the workers. Threaten to prosecute.
Fifth, and most important, ignore the so-called “right to shelter” provision which is not in the New York State Constitution. Eliminating the right to shelter, never intended to be a red-carpet invitation to the world, would certainly be a political hot potato. Nevertheless, it’s the false premise that fuels the migrant calamity.
New York needs to get its priorities in order. Adams has been a colossal failure in prioritizing. An example: the recent rain storms that inundated New York proved that the city needs to recalibrate its sewers to drain more water, faster. Areas of New York City got nearly nine inches of rainfall in a two-hour period, far in excess of its 1.5- to 2-inch-per-hour drainage capacity.
Water backed up, seeped into floors, subways, and basements, some of which housed ill-prepared migrants. The estimated sewer upgrade cost is $9 billion over the next decade, less than the predicted $12 billion migrant care expenses that, Adams estimates, the city will spend by 2025.
Even in the unlikely event that Adams acts immediately on the five proffered recommendations, thousands more aliens are in the Eagle Pass pipeline. For many, the destination is New York. Had Adams acted more quickly and more boldly, he could have avoided the nightmare he’s imposed on his residents. Instead, Adams has learned nothing.
Just before Adams left on his boondoggle, his chief advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin urged the Biden administration to “close the borders,” which would lighten the city’s burden. But Adams quickly rejected the idea. Fabien Levy, Adams’ deputy mayor for communications, said:
“As Mayor Adams has said over and over again, of course this nation should continue to welcome immigrants – both those seeking asylum and those who are not.”
Lessons about the consequences of unchecked immigration are hard learned. Mayor Adams is a uniquely dense pupil.