New York Mayor Eric Adams visits D.C. to address migrant issues

WASHINGTON — New York Mayor Eric Adams met Thursday with congressional leaders and Biden administration officials to discuss his city’s growing population of migrants.

Adams met with Democratic lawmakers from New York, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. He also met with Deanne Criswell, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and later with Tom Perez, a senior adviser to President Joe Biden, after uncertainty about whether Adams would have an official meeting with a White House official.

“As he has done regularly, Senior Advisor Tom Perez met with Mayor Adams to discuss the collaboration of the Biden-Harris Administration with New York City over the recent months,” White House spokesperson Angelo Fernandez Hernandez said in a statement. “We will continue to support the City and the State in the coming weeks and months as they host recently arrived migrants.”

Asked by reporters in Washington earlier about whether he was seeking a meeting with Biden during the trip or intended to speak with him soon, Adams said: “Every time I come to D.C. I look forward to seeing the president. The team reached out to coordinate all the meetings that are possible in a short period of time. And we’re going to continue to want to sit down with the president [to] have a conversation over this.”

Adams has said his goal is to secure more assistance from the federal government, including covering the massive cost facing New York City to house and care for migrants. It is the 10th time he has traveled to Washington to address the challenges New York faces related to the migrants, he told reporters this week.

“The goal is to constantly go there, be front and center and raise the concerns of how this is impacting our city. And that’s the goal,” he said Tuesday.

Adams has said he believes the federal government should cover the cost of addressing the migrant situation over the next three years, adding that it shouldn’t fall on New York City taxpayers. He has said it will cost about $12 billion over the next three years, according to an estimate by New York City budget director Jacques Jiha.

“This is a national problem that should not fall on the backs of local cities,” Adams said Tuesday.

On Thursday, Adams reiterated his disapproval of FEMA, echoing arguments he has made for months about the agency’s using funding to bus migrants to New York City. In an interview on MSNBC in May, he said it’s “not sustainable for us.”

“FEMA allocated, out of the $350 million, only $30 million went to New York City. So we received the large sum of migrants in our city, but we’re not getting the funding to match,” Adams said at the time. “The plan on our bordering states is simply to use the money from FEMA to bus migrants to New York City. That is just not a workable solution.”

In August, he called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency to manage the “crisis” at the border. The next month, he said that since spring 2022, more than 113,000 asylum-seekers had sought shelter in New York.

Negotiations on Capitol Hill over legislation to address the influx of migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border have not led to an agreement. Republicans insist that it must be part of an emergency supplemental bill that would also provide aid to Israel and Ukraine.

Republicans blocked the Senate from opening debate on such a measure Wednesday over a lack of border security provisions, including rules to tighten U.S. asylum and parole laws in immigration proceedings.