It was a small step for Kathy Hochul – a big mistake for New York.
The governor, who cares deeply about migrants, pointed a bony finger of blame at the Biden administration’s border policy this week — and it was a very hopeful sign.
Could she wake up from the coma?
For the governor then effectively endorsed the root cause of the New York frontier crisis – Gotham’s utterly insane, prohibitively expensive, and utterly unsustainable “right to lodging” policy.
You know, which says if you can make it in New York, it’ll be made in New York now and forever, no questions asked, until the tax base collapses.
Of course, Hochul called for Washington to abandon the states and localities impacted by America’s shameful — and exceedingly dangerous — border collapse.
“This crisis originated with the federal government,” she rightly remarked in a speech in Albany on Thursday, “and it must be resolved by the federal government.”
So cheers to Krazy Kat.
It’s a rare day when a senior Democrat criticizes fellow Democrats — if only as a result.
Of course, a more determined CEO would have named names: Joe Biden, definitely; also Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (both from Brooklyn), and New York’s youngest US Senator – the vivacious Kirsten Gillibrand from Albany, who last appeared in public running her presidential bid in 2019.
And a truly serious governor would not have minced his words to announce a resolution to the crisis — a reversal of Biden’s effective open-borders doctrine.
America may struggle to assimilate the frontiers already here — but unless the pipeline is throttled, no lasting solution is possible.
Hochul is clearly neither determined nor serious – as indicated by the political prescription she sent to Washington on Thursday.
Federal work permits for migrants.
Large cash assistance for migrant assimilation.
Much more federal state for emergency shelters.
(Apparently the 2,500 beds she just got at the Floyd Bennett in Brooklyn aren’t enough; now 3,000 migrants arrive a week.)
Some changes to couch cushion refunds for a previous National Guard deployment.
In the short term, that makes perfect sense.
Washington broke it, Washington needs to buy it, right?
But the short-term crunch in this crisis lasts a week from next Tuesday: You can only fill a limited number of iconic Midtown hotels with migrants as those buses roll further into the Port Authority — and before long, the rest of New fill York.
Therefore, Hochul’s refugee shelter policy is: If they come, we will build them.
Until we can’t anymore – and it’s practically indistinguishable from Gotham’s “right to shelter” approach.
Admittedly, Hochul’s criticism of Washington rhetorically puts her in line with Mayor Adams.
Hizzoner constantly fires unfocused shots at the FBI agents — though he never names names either.
So what now?
A smart guy who has worked for more than one governor recently said that Hochul is more of an observer than a participant in their government.
Adams, who sometimes seems surprised that he’s actually the mayor, also has no apparent interest in difficult decisions.
I give them both credit for saying the dreaded “W” word, but they’ve given no one — certainly not Biden, Schumer, Jeffries, or Gillibrand — a reason to take them seriously.
Until then, New York will remain a Mecca for cross-border commuters.