New York City Mayor Adams Pledges Support for Illegal Immigrants in State of the City Address

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams. in his State of the City address on Wednesday, expressed strong support for using city resources to help illegal immigrants, even amid a rising public outcry over the disruption of New Yorkers’ daily lives. The mayor sees a role for the federal government in this effort to help migrants adjust and assimilate.

Throughout the hour-long speech at Hostos College in the Bronx, Mayor Adams, who in the past has publicly complained about the Biden administration’s failure to take effective action, called the situation a crisis but stopped well short of calling for tougher enforcement of immigration laws.

“The federal government must step up and step in. This is a national crisis that calls for a national solution. It is time for the federal government to deal with this federal crisis and make sure we give them the opportunity,“ Mayor Adams said. ”Let them work.”

The situation has drawn international attention. In the summer of 2023, local media reported on the phenomenon of recent arrivals from the U.S. southern border sleeping on the sidewalk outside an intake center, as more than 500 daily arrivals overwhelmed the municipal bureaucracy.
In August 2022, an internal email from the city’s Human Resources Administration to all names on its distribution list, leaked to The Epoch Times, called attention to the scope of the escalating crisis. It called for help in dealing with a “drastic influx of asylum seekers coming to our shelter intake sites” and asked employees to consider working overtime.

Just two weeks before the mayor’s speech, the city’s decision to move 2,000 migrants from tents into James Madison High School in Brooklyn, which necessitated a temporary shift to remote classes for students at the school, sparked outrage among parents and others. Nowhere in his address did Mayor Adams acknowledge this imbroglio.

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Reports of public defecation and urination in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, where migrants have gathered in large numbers as their claims wend their way through the sluggish bureaucracy, have provoked outrage.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks in New York City on April 4, 2023. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks in New York City on April 4, 2023. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

The mayor endorsed the training and hiring of illegal migrants who have arrived in New York en masse on buses from Texas.

“We have helped more than 172,000 asylum seekers by providing food, asylum, and medical care. We have helped tens of thousands file applications to extend, temporarily, their status and to seek employment,” he said.

While New York City cannot do it alone, the mayor made clear that he would like to incorporate the migrants into the municipal economy. Though they may have entered the country illegally, sending them home is the last thing on his agenda, no matter what ordinary New Yorkers may think of the abrupt and unprecedented influx.

Crime

Mayor Adams offered lavish praise for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and others he credits for having brought crime down.

“When we came into office two years ago, we had a clear mission: Protect public safety, rebuild our economy, and make this city more livable,” he said.

“Two years in, we’re seeing real results. Crime is down, jobs are up…. We’ve taken over 14,000 illegal guns off our streets and driven down the number of shootings and homicides by double digits,” the mayor added.

In tandem with the improving quality of life, tourism is surging, with “almost 62 million” tourists having patronized hotels and restaurants since he took office, he claimed.

Mayor Adams acknowledged how severe crime was when he took office and recalled visiting a hospital where an 11-month-old baby was in intensive care with a gunshot wound to the head. He said he had acted on the concerns of citizens like the baby’s mother.

New York City Police Department figures support the mayor’s claim that crime is down slightly. In 2023, there were 386 homicides in the city, down 11 percent from 2022.
New York Attorney General Letitia James arrives for former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York City on Nov. 8, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
New York Attorney General Letitia James arrives for former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York City on Nov. 8, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The mayor singled out New York Attorney General Letitia James for high praise, and appeared to implicitly laud her civil fraud case against former President Donald Trump in which lawyers made closing arguments earlier this month.

“We must give New York Attorney General Letitia James more power to prosecute deep theft cases,” Adams stated.

James’s lawsuit against Trump and members of the Trump Organization for allegedly inflating the values of Trump’s assets in the hope of obtaining more favorable terms for loans and insurance played out in the civil courthouse at 60 Centre Street from Oct. 2 through closing arguments on Jan. 11.

The attorney general went from seeking $250 million, nearly a tenth of Trump’s reported net worth of $2.6 billion, to seeking $370 million from the Trump Organization.

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