Mayor Eric Adams’ frustration with the migrant influx and his push for more federal help was expressed in stark terms at an Upper West Side town hall meeting on Wednesday night.
“I don’t see an ending to this. I don’t see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City — destroy New York City,” Adams said. “We have a $12 billion deficit that we’re going to have to cut — every service in this city is going to be impacted. All of us.”
What You Need To Know
- Mayor Eric Adams at an Upper West Side town hall Wednesday says migrant issue will "destroy" city
- Adams says services for migrants will cause $12 billion budget deficit
- The remarks drew rebukes from some Democrats and praise from Republicans
His blunt remarks angered some of Adams’ fellow Democratic politicians.
Progressive state Sen. Jessica Ramos, who represents Queens, said on social media the remarks were defeatist, insulting and irresponsible.
“We can do a lot here at the city and state level and it begins with rhetoric that is helpful and not damning of immigrants,” Ramos said.
She suggested that New York could get more migrants in the construction industry with her bill prohibiting employers from using E-Verify to check work authorization for current or prospective workers.
To some elected Republicans, it was a moment of candor about the problem the city faces sheltering and caring for more than a 100,000 migrants and counting.
Councilwoman Vickie Paladino, a Queens Republican, said she expressed similar remarks to Adams, posting on social media: “I’m gratified to know he understands the gravity of what I believe we’re facing — the total loss of our city as we know it.”
“I’m happy that the mayor is being more perhaps therapeutic and venting to some people, but he is certainly more grounded in reality with those comments last night than he’s ever been,” Councilman Joe Borelli, the Council’s Republican leader from Staten Island.
Borelli said he has low expectations for federal officials bailing out the city.
He said Adams should declare that the city won’t take in any more migrants and deal with any lawsuit that may follow.
“He has to have fewer people down at the Port Authority Bus Terminal greeting people with a smile promising them the world,” Borelli said. “At some point we have to say the busses can’t come here.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday she wanted to look at the right-to-shelter mandate in the city.
“I don’t think, in a million years, it was anticipated to be an unlimited universal right to have shelter, provided to the entire world, at cost to taxpayers, with no end in sight,” Hochul said.
Meanwhile, Hochul said she had a call with the White House on Thursday.
She also did not rule out a special session to deal with the influx of migrants.