After weeks of back-and-forth, it seems Mayor Eric Adams is reaching his breaking point with Gov. Kathy Hochul and her resistance to take more responsibility for the migrant situation.
“I think on this issue the governor is wrong. She’s the governor of the state of New York, New York City is in that state. Every county in that state should be a part of this,” Adams said Tuesday.
The mayor’s criticism came at an unrelated event, while responding to questions about the thousands of migrants being housed in emergency shelters and tents across the city.
In the last week, protesters have been vocal about not having migrants on Staten Island. Meanwhile, Hochul herself has been resistant to forcing upstate counties to take in migrants, arguing the right to shelter only applies to the city.
A spokesperson for the governor pushed back against the criticism.
“It’s unfortunate that the mayor is choosing to point fingers at the state — which continues to provide the city with unprecedented amounts of financial support — rather than working collaboratively to manage this crisis. Governor Hochul knows that New Yorkers want their leaders to focus on solutions, which is why she is working more individuals on the path to work authorization so they can move out of shelter and into permanent housing,” Avi Small, press secretary to Hochul, said.
The criticism comes one day after Adams met with federal officials to discuss recommendations the Biden Administration has to improve the city’s migrant operations.
Adams also criticized the recommendations from Washington.
“If the national plan is to have New York City to find spaces, that is not the answer. And if the national plan is that slowly see if New York can move more on the waiting list to get work authorization, that is not an answer,” Adams said later in the day when asked about the meeting with federal officials.
“Any plan that doesn’t include stopping the flow at the border is a failed plan,” he added.
The discussion also included 11 sites the federal government has offered for sheltering migrants. Most of the sites are said to be outside the city, a sticking point for Hochul.
Attempts by the city to voluntarily bus migrants to upstate counties have largely been unsuccessful and met with local officials filing lawsuits or establishing executive orders to bar the efforts.
Adams said he is open to any location.
“If the federal government says we can use this site, we’re going to listen to what the federal government says,” Adams said.
So far, more than 104,000 asylum seekers have come to the city. The city has opened over 200 emergency shelters.