Watching Mayor Adams get attacked by The New York Times and other left-wing Democrats after he criticized President Biden’s handling of the migrant mess, I was tempted to praise the mayor for courageous straight talk.
But the moment passed because Adams soon took a different tack, creating confusion about what he believes and where he stands.
Nearly a year after the mayor first announced that 2,800 uninvited newcomers were crowded into city shelters, his policy for dealing with the expanding crisis is almost as messy as the problem itself.
He zigs, he zags, he flip-flops and undercuts today what he said with conviction and certainty yesterday.
Pick a side, mayor, and stick to it!
A measure of his ineffective approach is that there are now about 70,000 migrants spread across the five boroughs, with City Hall saying an average of 602 more arrive each day, and that on a recent day the total hit 900.
Yet despite his many pronouncements, feuds and demands, Adams has not said the one thing that has the potential to change everything: Seal the border.
That’s what he needs to tell Biden, but he has said everything except that.
He wants money from Washington and Albany, he wants the suburbs to take some of the migrants, and yesterday asked the court to limit the Right to Shelter when the city runs out of space.
None of those actions would solve the problem, which is that the southern border is basically open.
Until it’s secured and order is restored, everything else is like trying to bail out an overflowing bathtub with a spoon while the spigot remains open.
It’s a waste of time and ultimately futile.
The inconsistency is a source of confusion to taxpayers footing the skyrocketing bill and an invitation for other migrants to flock here. As a result, there is no limit to the number of migrants the city will be required to care for.
Would 100,000 get the mayor to demand the president stop the caravans of illegal crossers? How about 200,000?
The latest misfire came Monday when Gov. Hochul, a bystander for most of the crisis, and the mayor met in Brooklyn to demand the White House provide fast work-authorization papers, so the migrants “can become part of our economy and our community,” as Hochul put it.
The mayor said, “We have one message: Let them work. That is our clear message that we’re sending. You must expedite work authorization for asylum-seekers. Not in the future, but now.”
Count the day as another wasted opportunity. Letting the migrants work guarantees they won’t leave and others will come because most cities and states are not offering the same benefit.
Moreover, there’s no sign that getting work permits would require the border crashers to give up free housing, transportation and health care, which are costing city taxpayers an estimated $4 billion over two years.
Hochul also talked about putting the illegal newcomers on a path to citizenship, which would effectively eliminate the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants and be yet another incentive for more to come.
The joint appearance came only days after the mayor called it “baffling” that Biden and his aides “are not understanding what this is doing to New York City.”
In April, he said “the president and the White House have failed New York City on this issue.”
Yet in between those views, he accused the GOP governor of Texas of trying to “hurt black-run cities” by sending migrants to New York and other cities with black mayors, although Adams previously invited the Democratic mayor of El Paso to send 200 crossers to Gotham every day for weeks.
He is also feuding with suburban officials who objected to his plans to send migrants to their districts and accused a white official of being a racist and an anti-Semite without offering any evidence.
He recently urged that migrants be shipped to every town in America, saying “we have 108,000 cities, villages, towns. If everyone takes a small portion of that and if it’s coordinated at the border to ensure that those who are coming to this country in a lawful manner is actually moved throughout the entire country. It is not a burden on one city.”
It’s just another awful idea that ignores the only solution.
GOP govs have a point
In a saner world, Abbott, Adams and the suburban leaders would unite to appeal to the president to fix the border. That was the point Republican governors made when they shipped busloads of migrants to cities, like New York, that have Dem mayors. The governors were frustrated the White House ignored them, but hoped it might be receptive if Dem mayors faced the same problem.
Instead, Adams and the Dems running Chicago and Washington mostly blamed the Republicans, as if the problem of millions of people claiming asylum or sneaking into America wouldn’t exist if the busloads hadn’t come north from border states.
Meanwhile, the Times’ contribution was an especially bizarre hit piece on Adams’ criticism of Biden. It allowed anonymous sources to call the mayor a “grandstanding opportunist” who is “aiming to win headlines for himself without regard to the broader political implications for the president and his re-election.”
In other words, the Times is demanding Adams break his oath to protect the people of New York so Biden will be safe from criticism that might hurt him politically.
It’s one thing for the Gray Lady to run interference for Biden, which is par for the course, but it’s the height of arrogance to demand the mayor do the same.
It’s also ridiculous that the Times apparently believes New Yorkers won’t notice their city is swamped with migrants if only the mayor doesn’t criticize the person responsible.
Ultimately, the Times’ approach is so off-base that it gives Adams another reason to speak up for New York. Having tried everything else, he should tell the president to shut the border now.
‘Losing our way’
Reader Warren Goldfein writes that my opinion that the GOP can’t win in 2024 with or without Donald Trump “has gotten me and my wife so depressed, we can’t watch or listen to anything on TV or radio and read anything in the newspaper about the political scene. How stupid would Americans be if they again vote for a nearly brain-dead, nasty, corrupt old man and his cronies who are destroying the country?
“When we go to temple services, we pray for good health, financial comfort, and no socialism coming to America. It would be terrible if our prayers are not answered.”
John Crowley writes: “I voted twice for Trump but I’ve had enough. I would like someone to ask him, if he loses in 2024, does he plan on going again in ’28? And would another loss prompt another run in ’32? Where does it end?”