New York Progressive Criticizes Mayor’s Hostile Comments on Migrant Crisis

A prominent New York progressive, Tiffany Cabán, has criticized Mayor Eric Adams for his hostile comments about the rising number of migrants in the city. Cabán, who is seeking re-election to the city council in November, warned that the mayor’s remarks are “dangerous” and risk inciting violence against the new arrivals and other immigrants. She described Adams’ statement that the increase in migration would “destroy” New York City as “irresponsible.”

Cabán, who has been endorsed by progressive figures such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, argued that new arrivals and immigrants have always played a crucial role in making the city what it is today. She expressed concern that the mayor’s rhetoric could potentially lead to acts of violence, which is the last thing the city needs.

New York, along with other Democratic-led cities, has experienced a significant influx of migrants who have crossed the US-Mexico border to seek asylum. Over 110,000 migrants have arrived in New York, with around 60,000 currently under the city’s care. However, migrants have faced challenges in securing housing, employment, and other necessities. Many have slept outside due to overcrowded facilities, and restrictions on legal employment and rental assistance have further compounded the issue.

Cabán called for the Biden administration to expedite work permits for asylum seekers dealing with the backlogged legal system. She also highlighted the need for increased funding for social services, as the mayor has imposed budget cuts while spending record amounts on the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Adams has come under criticism from fellow Democrats for his handling of the migrant crisis. New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s representative sent Adams a letter rebuking him for not collaborating with state officials on managing the situation. The US Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, also faulted Adams’s response to the crisis.

Cabán warned that the mayor’s rhetoric risks fueling anti-immigration sentiments and supporting right-wing political agendas. She emphasized the importance of prioritizing the development of infrastructure to support arriving migrants on a long-term basis. While refugees will continue to come due to factors such as climate change and global politics, Cabán urged municipal leaders to shift their priorities towards community, compassion, care, and access to housing.

In addition to facing discrimination, migrants in New York have been subjected to xenophobic audio messages in Staten Island, where a temporary shelter was set up. Cabán called for unity and emphasized that migrants are not criminals but rather individuals seeking a safe haven from their troubled countries.