Amid White House anger at Eric Adams, NYC mayor says migrant crisis could cost Democrats at the polls
NEW YORK — Amid reports the White House is angry about Mayor Eric Adams’ public criticism of President Joe Biden, Adams warned Sunday that the migrant crisis could cost fellow Democrats at the polls.
Speaking on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show With Jonathan Capehart,” Adams compared the migrant crisis to public safety, the central talking point of his 2021 campaign.
“When I talked about public safety and the over-proliferation of guns in our country last year, many people were not listening to the concern of voters. And I am saying that again,” the mayor said.
The president’s reelection campaign recently left Adams off a high-profile squad of surrogates, a move widely seen as resulting from of the mayor’s harsh criticism of Biden’s handling of waves of migrants reaching New York City.
Adams’ accusations that the “national government has turned its back” on the city have enraged top Biden aides, according to the New York Times. They reportedly view Adams as grandstanding and trying to win headlines for himself without weighing the political consequences for the president.
The mayor’s broadsides have left Biden’s campaign manager privately fuming, Axios reported last week.
Most Democrats have been taking pains to avoid criticizing the president, the Times noted.
While insisting Sunday that he supports the commander-in-chief, Adams repeated calls for more federal funding to handle migrants in New York City, which has struggled to send the recent arrivals out of town as the shelter system is overwhelmed.
To drive home the point, he repeated stats illustrating the extent of the crisis. The city is caring for 42,000 migrants, many of them housed in mid-sized hotels, according to the mayor. Nearly 40% of such hotels are full as a result, he added.
“This is not sustainable for us and we believe it’s not right for the people of the city,” Adams said, noting New York got just $30 million of $350 million the Federal Emergency Management Agency allocated for humanitarian assistance for migrants.
He again called on the feds to expedite work authorization for migrants.
“This should not be the [burden] of Chicago, Washington, Houston, Denver and New York City,” Adams said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “That is what we want to focus on. How do we have real comprehensive immigration reform?
“We really need to allow the migrants, asylum seekers, to be able to have work status so that they can actually work in various areas,” he added.
With immigration policy viewed as a major vulnerability for the president as he seeks reelection in 2024, Adams suggested Democrats need to shift their framing of the issue.
“Every time we talk about this issue, people talk about politics. I’m talking about people,” he told CBS.
“I’m talking about people who are spending many hours taking care of them. And I’m talking about the people of my city, who … are watching this city being transformed by not having the proper resources and the proper planning.”