Democrats may rail against the conservative stance on mass migration. But when forced to actually confront the realities of migration, some Democratic politicians find themselves mirroring their Republican counterparts.
According to documents obtained by Politico through a public records request, New York Mayor Eric Adams has taken a page out of the books of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by transporting migrants out of his city limits to places as diverse as Texas, Florida, China, and other counties within the state.
This is despite the fact that Adams has previously railed against the two Republican governors for their policies of sending illegal migrants to Democratic strongholds such as New York.
Per Politico, New York City spent approximately $50,000 between April 2022 and April 2023 for the resettlement of 114 migrant families.
The top destination for these relocations was Florida, which took 28 families. Texas, with 14 families, came in second place. In third place was North Carolina, which received six families. In total, New York City’s Department of Social Services assisted with travel to 64 cities in 27 states.
Republicans were quick to accuse Adams of hypocrisy. Per Politico:
“Less than three weeks ago, Mayor Adams said busing migrants is ‘morally bankrupt.’ Where is all the outrage and condemnation from the White House and Democrats for one of their own sending migrants out of town, out of state, and even out of the country?” Abbott spokesperson Andrew Mahaleris said in a statement. “Instead of these hypocritical charades, Mayor Adams needs to call on President Biden and Congress to step up and do their jobs to secure the southern border.”
But Adams spokeswoman Kate Smart shot back, arguing that New York’s strategy is different because Adams’ administration has been buying individual tickets for migrants who elect to leave the state, sending them to locations of their preference — often where they have family waiting for them. Texas and Florida, meanwhile, have taken a more forceful approach, chartering entire buses to relocate migrants in large numbers.
“In contrast, New York City has, as we have discussed very publicly for months, worked to connect individuals with friends, family, and networks whether in New York City or outside of it,” Smart countered. “We are not coercing people to leave, we are not suggesting or recommending locations, and we are not presenting any kind of false choice. We are helping people who want to reconnect with loved ones or communities do so.”
As Politico notes, New York’s relocation effort has not been limited to within the nation’s borders:
The program even sent asylum-seekers abroad. The Adams administration paid for four households to travel to Colombia, two to Peru, and one household apiece to China, Ecuador and Venezuela.
… And earlier this year, the city was sending busloads of migrants to a town near the Canadian border, which many asylum-seekers then crossed at an unauthorized gap. Trips within New York were not accounted for in the data.
New York’s efforts come as the city has found itself flooded by migrants, with over 78,000 asylum seekers arriving in the city since last spring. Of these, 48,700 are living off the city’s social support system. Adams has tried to accommodate these arrivals by opening 174 new emergency shelters and intake centers. He has even housed migrants in former jails. In total, the city expects to spend $4.3 billion to deal with the migrant crisis.
Adams’ policy of sending migrants out of state could put him at odds with the White House, whose handling of the border has opened the door to crisis. Adams was already dropped from a list of Biden surrogates earlier this year. But his stance could ingratiate him with other Democrats, who are quietly fuming at the White House’s openness to mass migration without providing resources for states and localities to deal with the explosion of new foreign arrivals.
In remarks to a Fox affiliate in February, Adams defended New York’s relocation program, stating:
We found that people had other destinations, but they were being compelled only to come to New York City, and we are assisting in interviewing those who seek to go somewhere else. Some want to go to Canada, some want to go to warmer states, and we are there for them as they continue to move on with their pursuit of this dream.
Adams’ actions not only demonstrate the ramifications of the Biden administration’s open border (even Democrats are doing what they can to get migrants out of their jurisdictions in order to mitigate the fallout); they also show that Republicans can and should be more bold in protecting the integrity of their states from the migration crisis.
Just as Adams has not limited himself to transporting migrants within the United States, but has sent them off to other nations, Republicans should consider the same move, to essentially deport these migrants and thereby ease the burden on the country.