New York Mayor Eric Adams’ chief adviser on Sunday called on the federal government to “close the borders” – a remark that prompted an outcry from liberal politicians and a quick clarification from another senior City Hall official.
Ingrid Lewis-Martin commented on this during an interview on PIX 11 On Sunday morning, I was asked about the city’s attempt to change current right-to-shelter policies as the Big Apple struggles to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants.
“The federal government has to do its job,” she said on the television station. “We need the federal government, the members of Congress, the Senate and the president to do their job: close the borders.”
“And until you close the borders, you must develop a comprehensive decompression strategy to receive and move all of our migrants through our 50 states.”
Hours after Lewis-Martin’s interview, Deputy Mayor for Communications Fabien Levy insisted that the Adams administration believes the country should continue to welcome immigrants while pursuing a “decompression strategy at the border.”
“To be clear, and as @NYCMayor has said time and time again, of course this country should continue to welcome immigrants — both those seeking asylum and those who are not,” Levy said in a series of posts on Xformerly Twitter.
“The United States will always do its part to be a country that seeks refuge from war, discrimination and conflict, but as we have repeatedly emphasized, we need a true decompression strategy at the border so that all communities across the United States can benefit .” can do their part to provide the compassion and care that NYC has provided to more than 118,000 asylum seekers since last year.”
While the city has welcomed more than 100,000 migrants since last year, Lewis-Martin said the city is currently caring for more than 61,000 migrants.
Some Liberal city council members criticized Lewis-Martin’s boundary statement.
“These xenophobic Republican talking points have no home in our city,” said Brooklyn City Council member Shahana Hanif tweeted. “New York has been a welcoming beacon for immigrants for centuries and will always remain so, no matter what this administration says.”
“Close the border.” — Donald Tr… Wait, no, the Adams administration,” Councilwoman Tiffany Caban, who represents part of Queens, tweeted.
But other elected officials also expressed support for the declaration.
“The chief counsel has put it succinctly: No sane nation would allow anyone to cross its borders uncontrolled,” said Councilman Robert Holden, a moderate Democrat from Queens, tweeted. “We must secure our borders and implement a credible fear screening process in line with refugee law and UN protocols.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul also raised eyebrows on Sunday when she said the southern border was “too open.” in an interview on the CBS series “Face the Nation.”
“We want there to be a limit on who can come across the border. It’s too open right now,” Hochul said.
“People from all over the world are finding their way simply by saying they need asylum, and most of them seem to end up on the streets of New York.”
She added: “It’s in our DNA to welcome immigrants, but some limits need to be set and Congress needs to impose more controls at the border.”
New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis took up the statements by Lewis-Martin and Hochul.
“I hope @SenSchumer and @SenGillibrand are listening because they are the only ones standing in the way of securing our border and ending this crisis,” she wrote on X.