migrant crisis

Adams blasts Hochul for not getting behind push to relocate migrants out of NYC

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Tensions in New York City's ever-growing migrant crisis escalated once again Tuesday as Mayor Eric Adams delivered his strongest criticism yet of Gov. Kathy Hochul's handling of the situation.

In comments at New York Law School, Adams publicly and bluntly calling Hochul's positioning on asylum seekers wrong. The governor has rejected the mayor's plea to relocate migrants to communities across the state, thereby distributing the burden more equally.

"Governor Hochul has been a partner on subway safety, on crime, on a host of things," he said Tuesday. "But I think on this issue, the governor is wrong."

Several suburban regions, inside New York City and out, have resisted the idea of migrant shelters to accommodate the tens of thousands that have traveled into the country. Hochul has so far backed them, citing New York City's unique right to shelter status as reason to continue the asylum seeker influx to the five boroughs.

"She's the governor of the State of New York. New York City is in that state. Every county in this state should be a part of this," the mayor added.

Last week, Hochul laid out her position on the matter.

“In 1981, the city of New York and the Coalition for the Homeless signed an agreement that the city would provide shelter to anyone who seeks it. This is an agreement that does not apply to the state’s other 57 counties which is one of the reasons we cannot and will not force other parts of the state to shelter migrants," she said.

Her spokesperson on Tuesday said it was "unfortunate that the mayor is choosing to point fingers at the state," instead of focusing on solutions.

The very public disagreement between Hochul and Adams is upstaging their joint displeasure with the White House. Both the mayor and governor have consistently asked President Joe Biden for federal aid to help house migrants and for expedited work permits, which would allow asylum seekers to get jobs and pay their own way.

So far, the White House has not granted those requests.

The nonprofit Partnership for New York City, which represents hundreds of business leaders, stressed that Adams and Hochul agree upon far more than they disagree.

“We can’t handle what is a federal issue and I think that is the key issue here. I don’t find any distance between the mayor and the governor on that issue," Kathryn Wylde, president of the nonprofit, said.

This week, more than 100 New York City business executives joined in writing President Biden to urge him to get control of the border and expedite those migrant work permits, citing labor shortages in a number of industries.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration fired off its own letters to both Adams and Hochul, highlighting steps taken by federal government to ease the crisis and also criticizing “structural and operational issues” with the way City Hall has dealt with tens of thousands of asylum seekers.

Public feuds were commonplace between former Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but Adams and Hochul have mostly been in lockstep. That is until now.

The influx of more than 100,000 asylum seekers now driving a wedge between New York's most powerful leaders.

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