Gov. Hochul and Mayor Adams said Thursday they are on the same page when it comes to the city’s migrant crisis and called for federal help handling the influx of asylum seekers.
The pair of Democratic pols presented a united front as they praised President Biden’s new border policies meant to stem the flow of migrants seeking sanctuary in the U.S.
“The mayor and I have been joined at the hip from the beginning in our belief that this is a situation that calls for strong federal engagement — making sure that there was a different strategy at the borders,” the governor said following an unrelated announcement with the mayor in Manhattan.
Adams and Hochul said their administrations have been working in lockstep to manage the situation after nearly 20,000 migrants have come to the Big Apple in recent months, many sent via bus from Republican-run states.
The situation has led Adams to declare a state of emergency as asylum seekers from Central and South America fleeing violence and economic devastation in their home countries have inundated the city’s shelter system.
City officials have been forced to take drastic measures, such as building a controversial tent camp on Randalls Island to house some of the new arrivals.
Both Adams and Hochul said they are seeking financial support from the feds to bolster legal services, transportation and housing options as the crisis strains city resources.
Hizzoner said that his administration has been coordinating with the state throughout the process and joked that he’s Hochul’s favorite local elected official after last week indicating that he had not received much help from Albany.
“I have not had a better partner than this governor,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of mayors throughout this entire state. But there’s no way you’re not going to tell me I’m not her favorite mayor. It’s just not possible.”
On a more serious note, he added that the governor assisted in providing members of the National Guard to help out when migrants first started arriving unannounced at Manhattan’s Port Authority bus terminal.
“And she has been there. And I can’t thank her enough,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hochul praised Biden’s new immigration policy, which will see Venezuelans who enter the U.S. illegally “return” to Mexico. The new protocols also require those seeking asylum to secure a sponsor, undergo a public safety screening and fulfill unspecified vaccination requirements.
Related Story: Biden admin. to fast track 24K Venezuelans entering U.S.
The governor said she spoke to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday about the plans and expressed hope that it will help cut down on border crossings.
“And now the path they announced as a result of countless conversations that we’ve had jointly and individually with the White House and the chief of staff and the secretary that we now have a path,” the governor said. “We’re going to start seeing the flow of individuals stemmed… Also, people in their home country, Venezuela, will understand that there is a path that can be legal, but you have to take steps in your home country.
“There’s a whole program that I believe is going to change the dynamic very quickly,” she added.
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