Bloomberg — New York City Mayor Eric Adams wrapped up a 24-hour trip to El Paso, Texas, on Sunday by demanding that the federal government do more to coordinate services to asylum seekers being bused from the US-Mexico border to the nation’s cities.
“Our cities are being undermined, and we don’t deserve this. Migrants don’t deserve this. And the people who live in cities don’t deserve this,” Adams told reporters Sunday afternoon. “We expect more from our national leaders.”
The mayor’s visit comes a week after President Joe Biden took his own tour of the border city, the first of his presidency.
Adams said he would go to Washington this week to rally the nation’s mayors behind an effort to push Congress and the White House to pass “real immigration reform” but also offer short-term relief to cities that are providing services to migrants.
The US Conference of Mayors is holding its winter meeting this week three blocks from the White House, where mayors are expected to meet with Biden administration officials.
“This crisis has made us pitted against each other. And that can’t happen,” Adams said. “We are not pointing the finger at El Paso. We are not pointing the finger at Houston. We’re pointing the finger where it should be pointed, and that is at our national government. This is a national problem.”
The trip to El Paso follows a week in which 3,100 migrants — including more than 800 on one day — arrived in New York City, stretching the city’s shelters and social services. Adams said the price tag to city taxpayers could reach $2 billion.
During his whirlwind tour of the Texas border city, Adams met with migrants, border agents, social service providers and local officials. El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said that when Adams asked migrants at Sacred Heart Catholic Church if they were willing to work, every hand went up.
Adams said he also learned that many migrants — whose only knowledge of New York City comes from movies and television — are being misled about the city’s ability to care for them.
“There are websites that are advertising that New York City — basically the streets are paved with gold, that there is automatic employment,” Adams said. “There’s an image that when you come to New York City, then automatically you’re going to be in this great place where all these resources are available.”
“New York cannot take more. We can’t,” he said.
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