With the growing migrant crisis in New York City, various voices have emerged, shedding light on the challenges and complexities surrounding the issue. Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Chief Adviser to Mayor Eric Adams, has been at the forefront, advocating for federal intervention and even proposing the closure of borders. The reason behind this call to action is the unprecedented influx of over 116,000 migrants within just 18 months, with more than 60,000 still reliant on the city’s resources. This surge in migrants has prompted Mayor Adams’ administration to seek significant changes to the city’s right-to-shelter law, marking a notable change from their initial welcoming stance.
Lewis-Martin’s perspective centers on the belief that modifying the right-to-shelter law could serve as a deterrent for potential migrants. By signaling that shelter services may no longer be readily available, the hope is that fewer individuals will choose New York City as their destination. She emphasizes the pressing need for federal authorities to address the underlying issues and advocates for the closure of borders to tackle the root causes of the crisis.
Former President Bill Clinton has joined the conversation, offering his support for Mayor Adams’ drive to reform the right-to-shelter law. Clinton plainly described the law as “broken” and emphasized the need for repairs. His position highlights the significance of migrants securing jobs, paying taxes, and becoming self-sufficient, marking a shift away from prolonged dependence on shelter services.
However, it’s essential to note that Deputy Mayor for Communications Fabien Levy swiftly clarified Mayor Adams’ position. He highlighted that the mayor does not endorse a complete closure of borders and remains committed to welcoming immigrants, including those seeking asylum. This nuanced stance underscores the intricate balance between humanitarian considerations and the city’s capacity and resources.
The issue has also sparked debates between New York City and upstate counties. Mayor Adams announced plans to issue housing vouchers for migrants to reside outside the five boroughs, a move met with resistance from Republican Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. Picente argues that this action is a result of federal government policy failures and a lack of leadership in Albany.
New York City’s efforts to address the migrant crisis have extended to distributing flyers at shelters and the southern border. These flyers aim to dispel misconceptions and misinformation circulating on social media and through human traffickers regarding the availability of migrant services in the city. The financial burden of providing shelter and services to migrants has been substantial, with a daily cost of approximately $10 million.
Mayor Adams has projected that the migrant crisis will impose a staggering $12 billion financial burden on the city over a span of three years, prompting calls for a comprehensive federal response.