NY Governor Slams NYC Mayor Over Migrant Crisis

In a heated exchange now a focal point in New York politics, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) took Mayor Eric Adams (D) to task over his handling of the growing migrant crisis. The clash marks a stark contrast, highlighting fractures within their party and the state leadership over how best to address the influx of asylum seekers in the Big Apple.

Hochul’s firm stance was mirrored in a scathing letter penned by her attorney, sharply criticizing Adams for his actions — or lack thereof. The governor’s attorney didn’t hold back, accusing Adams of, among other things, “being slow to act,” ignoring “state offers for shelter sites that could house up to 3,000 migrants,” and neglecting available state funds designed to support these migrants. In a notable instance of oversight, Adams allegedly allowed migrants to sleep outside The Roosevelt Hotel, even when other accommodations were at hand.

The heart of their dispute revolves around the responsibility of housing migrants. Adams appealed to lessen the weight on New York City, suggesting that other cities in the state take up some of the burden. Hochul, however, stood her ground. She asserted that New York City, with its vast resources, is best equipped to manage the situation.

“Let’s be very clear — you cannot involuntarily take people from the city and send them all over the state of New York,” Hochul declared in a phone interview with Spectrum News NY1. Her concerns weren’t just logistical but humanitarian as well. “Putting someone in a hotel on a dark, lonely road in upstate New York and telling them they’re supposed to survive is not compassion,” she added.

While Adams has faced considerable backlash from city residents displeased with crime in migrant housing centers, he’s sought assistance from the Biden administration. He hopes for a national emergency declaration, thereby spreading the responsibility of housing migrants across other states.

But how did things spiral to this point? According to the mayor, without intervention from the state and the federal government, these migrants could result in costs of up to $12 billion for New York City over the next three years.

Despite their disagreements, both leaders align on one essential point: They believe the federal government should permit migrants to find legal employment. “The number one priority for those here is to be able to get a job,” stated Hochul.

Yet the battle isn’t solely Hochul against Adams. The state’s proposal to house migrants in locations like Aqueduct Race Track and various cruise terminals met with resistance from the city. Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol noted that some sites offered by the state were “not feasible” due to various reasons, ranging from economic impacts to environmental concerns.

When CBS New York questioned Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy on the criticisms made in the state’s letter, he responded, “We’ve been very clear we cannot handle this crisis solely on our own.” While they desire the state to be more involved, there are still points of contention to be addressed.