The Biden administration’s mishandling of the immigration crisis is leading to some unlikely criticism from prominent Democrats in one of the nation’s bluest states.
Former New York Governor David Paterson, a Democrat, is warning about a coming “revolt” by U.S. cities against the federal government if it does not solve the migrant crisis.
Paterson argued that speaking out about the migrant crisis is necessary to jolt the Biden administration into action.
Paterson told John Catsimatidis on WABC 770AM radio’s “Cat’s Roundtable” that the federal government appears to lack either the “willingness or ability” to address the escalating crisis. The former governor criticized the administration’s decision to relocate migrants to various cities without giving sufficient financial support.
The ex-gov suggested that other cities facing challenges similar to New York might eventually push back against the national approach, leading to a potential “city versus country revolt.”
While emphasizing empathy towards migrants, Paterson also noted that support needs to be sustainable: “I think most people are very sympathetic to the plight of the migrants and would like to help. But as in any situation, even when you’re giving to charity, you give as much as you can, not as much as they think you should.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams strongly criticized the Biden administration earlier in the week, emphasizing his viewpoint that the federal government’s refusal to grant about 100,000 migrants in New York City the right to work is “anti-American.”
Although Adams is also a Democrat, he didn’t hesitate to voice his concerns. He urged the city to embody a “God-like spirit” and to continue welcoming asylum seekers. He underscored that “it’s not acceptable for immigrants to turn on immigrants.”
Emphasizing New York’s inclusive nature, Adams stated, “This city is supposed to be displaying what the God-like spirit is, and it doesn’t mean stating that we don’t want those people.”
Challenging the federal stance on work rights for migrants, Adams posed the question, “What is more anti-American than not allowing someone to work?” He continued, “So what is wrong with them having the right to work? There’s no reason the national government is not staying true to the basic principle of the American experience to allow you to the right to work. It is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable that they cannot work.”
Mayor Adams recently sought federal aid, highlighting the expected surge in migrants seeking shelter in the city – estimated to reach around 100,000 by June 2024. This surge could cost the city approximately $12 billion over three years.
Paterson asserted that the Biden administration’s current approach lacked foresight, implying they hurriedly transferred migrants without a comprehensive strategy.
“This is the kind of plan that should never have been enacted within a year,” he said. “[The Biden administration] should have taken a year to try to adjust the facilities and the capacity of a city or a town or wherever you’re sending migrants.”
At present, New York City allocates roughly $383 nightly for each asylum-seeker household it accommodates. These individuals and families are spread out across 198 city facilities. However, limited capacity has occasionally led to migrants taking to Manhattan’s sidewalks.
Mayor Adams has consistently highlighted the grave financial implications of the situation.
“With more than 57,300 individuals currently in our care on an average night, it amounts to $9.8 million a day. Almost $300 million a month and nearly $3.6 billion a year,” he stated, adding that the current status represents the “floor, not the ceiling” of the crisis.