MOSHE HILL OPINION COLUMNS AUGUST 02 2023
New York City has hit a breaking point with the surge of illegal migrants hitting the country’s most populous city. In the past year, the city has faced an overwhelming influx of over 90,000 migrants, posing a significant challenge to its resources and infrastructure. City leadership is finally acknowledging the role of the federal government in this crisis – but it’s too little too late.
Since April of last year, New York City has seen an unprecedented number of migrants arriving on its doorstep. As of this month, around 55,000 are still being sheltered at the city’s expense. This influx has caused the City’s already strained homeless shelters to burst at the seams, leading to a record high of 105,800 individuals seeking shelter.
In response to the growing humanitarian crisis, New York City has poured a staggering $1.2 billion into assisting the migrants since last summer. Mayor Eric Adams is frustrated and pointing fingers at various parties, blaming everyone from Texas, the White House, and even New York’s own state government, for imposing this emergency on the city.
Yet Adams needs to look at New York’s own history as the leader in sanctuary city policies if he’s looking for someone to blame. The first sanctuary policy in New York City, the “City Policy Regarding Aliens,” was enacted in 1989. In the early 2000s, New York City took steps to broaden the scope of its sanctuary city policy. It sought to extend protections beyond law enforcement interactions to other city agencies and services.
In the mid-2010s, the federal program “Secure Communities” stirred tensions between sanctuary cities and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The program required local law enforcement to share fingerprints of individuals they arrested with federal immigration authorities. This resulted in increased deportations, raising concerns about the impact on community trust and cooperation.
During this phase, New York City’s sanctuary policies faced criticism and legal challenges from the federal government. The city’s commitment to its sanctuary status was reinforced as it defended its policies in court, asserting that local law enforcement should focus on public safety rather than immigration enforcement. During the Trump administration, the city remained resilient in upholding its sanctuary status, arguing that it had the right to determine its law enforcement and immigration policies.
Mayor Adams refuses to acknowledge the decades of policies made by his predecessors and the City Council that all contributed to this crisis. Even now, despite opening at least 188 new shelter sites, New York City still finds itself struggling to provide adequate housing for the migrants. Dr. Ted Long, the senior vice president at NYC Health + Hospitals, the agency managing much of the emergency housing, aptly stated, “Our compassion is infinite. Our space is not.” Claims of infinite compassion will only drive more and more people to come to New York, expecting that they will be the recipients of it.
So, what is New York City planning on doing? They are requesting a bail-out from the Biden administration. Fifty-four New York City Democrats have sent a letter to President Biden, urgently seeking assistance with the city’s migrant crisis, which has reached a critical point. The lawmakers are appealing for a federal state of emergency declaration, expedited work authorization for migrants, and increased funding to address the crisis. They do not bother to ask the administration to fix the illegal tide, rather using the milquetoast language to “implement a decompression strategy at the southern border.”
The most galling part of the letter is the demand that the Biden administration “[c]reate an Organized Strategy At the Border to Fairly Distribute Newcomers Across the Country.” According to these Democrat lawmakers, the issue isn’t that an estimated 5-6 million illegals have entered the country, it’s that New York has received one percent of those illegals. “We ask that the federal government establish an organized system at the southern border to fairly distribute newcomers across the country,” the letter says. So, while Eric Adams and Democrats clutch their pearls when Texas or Florida send illegals to sanctuary cities like New York, they are happy to openly say to Biden “send them somewhere else.”
It is the height of hypocrisy for Democrats to be complaining about the humanitarian issue that surrounds illegal immigration. Since the beginning, the Biden administration has incentivized it without regard for the consequences. Eric Adams has slapped Biden’s wrist a couple times but has not done much more to push for real change that would stop this crisis. Until New York City and Mayor Adams call for a closing of the border and an increase in deportations, they are doing no more than saying, “not in my backyard.”
Moshe Hill is a political columnist and Senior Fellow at Amariah, an America First Zionist organization. Moshe has a weekly column in the Queens Jewish Link, and has been published in Daily Wire, CNS News, and other outlets. You can follow Moshe on his blog www.aHillwithaView.com, facebook.com/aHillwithaView, and twitter.com/HillWithView. A Hill With a View is now on YouTube! Subscribe today to get the latest content. Just search “A Hill with a View” to get started. Get A Hill with a View directly to your inbox! Text HILLVIEW to 22828 to sign up to the newsletter.