NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams, a top surrogate for President Joe Biden, slammed the “irresponsibility” of the White House on Tuesday for its handling of the migrant crisis, as the influx of newcomers continues to strain city resources.
“It is not about the asylum-seekers and migrants, all of us came from somewhere to pursue the American Dream,” Adams said at an unrelated press conference, when asked whether his rhetoric on migrants could inflame anti-immigrant sentiment. “It is the irresponsibility of the Republican Party in Washington for refusing to do real immigration reform, and it’s the irresponsibility of the White House for not addressing this problem.”
Adams is among more than 20 Democrats on a national advisory board convened by the president’s team to stump for him on both television and at events around the country as part of his reelection bid.
A spokesperson for Biden did not immediately comment on Adams’ remarks, but has previously said the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides assistance to cities dealing with an influx of migrants and will be announcing additional support soon, but Congress needs to provide more resources to fix the country’s broken immigration system.
More than 57,000 migrants, mostly from Latin America, have arrived in New York since last spring after crossing the Southern border. Adams said the city is facing a $4.3 billion price tag from its ongoing obligations to provide shelter, food and other services to newcomers.
Cities including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Denver and El Paso shouldn’t have to “bear the weight of the failure from Washington, D.C.,” Adams said.
“It’s not about the people who are pursuing the American Dream, it’s the irresponsibility of those that are allowing them to come to a country and not build the infrastructure to allow them to pursue their dream,” he said.
Adams’ rhetoric on the issue in recent weeks has echoed Republican talking points on immigration. At an event with other Black mayors last month, Adams said the city “is being destroyed” by the influx of migrants. While making a recent plea for more federal aid at City Hall, he said the White House has “failed this city.”
Adams on Monday accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of targeting Black-run cities by busing asylum-seekers from the border state to areas with Black mayors.
He called Abbott “morally bankrupt” and said it’s “impossible to ignore the fact that Abbott is now targeting five cities run by Black mayors.”
In a radio interview on WABC’s “Sid and Friends” on Tuesday, Adams defended his comments on Abbott to conservative host Sid Rosenberg, who said he’s “sick of hearing that word ‘racist’.”
“Every one of these cities, whether it’s Denver or D.C. or New York or Chicago or Los Angeles, they’re Democrat cities. Has nothing to do with Black people, white people, it’s called Democrat policies,” Rosenberg said.
“I didn’t use the term racist,” Adams responded. “What I did was show the facts. We have 108,000 cities in America, 108,000. Many of them are Democratic cities, but where did Abbott send the migrants? To New York, to Chicago, to Denver, to Los Angeles, to Houston, to Washington. Each one of those cities are run by Black mayors.”
Joe Anuta contributed reporting.