Last week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams published a 6-point plan to address the growing humanitarian crisis at the border.
There is an old adage that what can’t go on forever has to end sometime.
The pandemic-era policy Title 42 must eventually end. When it does, the U.S. southern border — already a humanitarian nightmare of epic proportions — will devolve even further into chaos.
Drug trafficking, smuggling, and human trafficking are flourishing. Border communities are overwhelmed; even sanctuary cities are reaching a breaking point. Resources are being stretched thinner and thinner. Critics of the worsening situation at the border wonder how much longer this can go on.
“Biden’s White House is fine with the chaos it created at the border,” observed Phil Boas for The Arizona Republic on December 23, 2022. “What’s the endgame?”
“We’ve known all year the border is a mess, yet at the end of the year we’re witnessing a crush of humanity at our southern doorstep that is so overwhelming that even Democratic mayors of border cities are declaring emergencies,” wrote Boas.
“What is the policy that drives this mass confusion, that seems disinterested as migrants overwhelm shelters from Yuma to El Paso?” he wondered.
Phil Boas isn’t the only one wondering.
In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams just became the most prominent Democratic Party voice calling on the Biden Administration to develop and implement a more cohesive, humane, and sustainable border policy.
“The migrant crisis needs a solution,” Mayor Eric Adams wrote in an impassioned op-ed published by the Washington Post on January 18, 2023. “Fix it in these six steps.”
“It isn’t often that the mayor of New York travels to El Paso,” began Mr. Adams. “But our cities are dealing with the same humanitarian crisis, about 2,000 miles apart: migrants pouring in from countries, many with failing governments, in Central and South America and the Caribbean. So I went down to the southern border this week to see for myself why this emergency has become so challenging.”
“What I found in El Paso was exactly what I feared,” Adams admitted frankly. “The national crisis has left local governments and grass-roots organizations along the border struggling to adequately care for the migrants coming into their communities.”
“Unfortunately, the immigration explosion has provided a dark opportunity for the xenophobic and callous in our country who say the crisis proves we should close our borders completely,” the Mayor lamented.
“The governors of Texas and Florida are even making a political game of vulnerable people’s lives, by sending them north with no coordination or care for their well-being — instead of urging lawmakers to take action,” Adams complained.
Of course, the Governors of both Texas and Florida, as well as Democratic governors in other states including Colorado, have been “urging lawmakers to take action” for quite some time now.
Their pleas, as some — including Adams — have rightly pointed out, have been met with disdain, stonewalling, and inaction. Nor would Adams have been forced to the expediency of writing this op-ed had buses of new arrivals not been sent to New York City.
“The governors of those states say they cannot handle the flow of migrants and maintain local services for existing residents, and that is true,” admitted Eric Adams in his WP op-ed.
“New York is also at a breaking point,” Adams continued. “The region is already annually the largest recipient of immigrants of any local government in the United States, but the total breakdown in immigration planning and policy over the past decade has now not only increased the number of migrants we absorb, but also the speed at which we must try to absorb them.”
New York City, argued Adams, is having great difficulty providing for the health and safety of new arrivals.
“But that is where the similarities between cynics such as the governors of Texas and Florida and the people of New York end,” Adams continued. “In a crisis, New Yorkers don’t ship their problems off to become someone else’s burden. We tackle challenges head-on.”
To tackle the challenge at the border, Mayor Adams proposed a 6-point plan as follows:
1. a government official solely focused on overseeing the migrant response and coordinating all relevant agencies and government entities, including the U.S. Border Patrol;
2. a decompression strategy at the border that evaluates asylum claims, establishes a plan for each migrant’s arrival — before entry into the United States — and a system to fairly distribute newcomers regionally;
3. additional congressionally allocated funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to implement that strategy at the border and in the localities where the migrants end up;
4. expedited right-to-work status for asylum seekers who are allowed to enter the country;
5. a clear, congressionally passed pathway to residency or citizenship for those who enter this country legally;
6. leadership that takes an all-hands-on-deck approach by bringing together nonprofits, the faith-based community and the private sector, alongside state and local government, to meet this challenge.
“By providing a fair start and foundation for migrants who are coming here to work and thrive, we will strengthen our country,” the Mayor concluded. “It’s time to restore America as a beacon of hope and prosperity, and a model of government and leadership.”
Will the Biden Administration heed the pleas of a popular Democratic Mayor?
Or is Eric Adams running for President?
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)