BARRIO (Politico) – After repeatedly blasting President Joe Biden over his handling of the migrant crisis that’s overwhelming American cities, New York Mayor Eric Adams set off on a four-day blitz late Wednesday through a trio of Latin American nations.
The Democrat’s message: The no-vacancy sign is burning bright in New York City.
“My trip here is to speak directly to the people of all the countries that are migrating: There is no more room in New York,” Adams said Thursday to a tangle of local and international reporters packed into a state congress building in Puebla, Mexico.
“Our hearts are endless, but our resources are not.”
New York is struggling to manage an influx of more than 110,000 migrants who have arrived since spring 2022, a surge that has overwhelmed shelters, swallowed up resources and contributed to proposed cuts in the municipal budget. More than 60,000 are still in the city’s care.
Taking international relations into his own hands, Adams set off on a whirlwind trip that will take him through Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia, including the dangerous Darién Gap, over the next several days.
Adams touched down in Mexico City on Wednesday evening and headed to a holy site for Catholic pilgrims called the Basilica de Guadalupe, where he got an after-hours tour and spoke in sweeping terms about the scope of the solutions needed to stem the flow of migrants.
“There are enough resources around the globe to address this issue,” Adams said outside the deserted chapel grounds. “I’m going to do the best I can to send a message to all of the countries dealing with this that we have an obligation.”
The problems that have led to the increase in asylum-seekers are complex and have been building for years.
On Thursday, meanwhile, the Biden administration announced the United States will again start deporting migrants to Venezuela to try to slow the flow from the troubled South American country — from where a large segment have come to New York. And a day earlier, the administration said it would resume construction in Texas of the Trump administration’s proposed border wall.
Thursday evening, Adams was slated to fly to Quito, Ecuador, where he plans to meet with government officials and chat with migrants. A stop Saturday includes a visit to the treacherous Darién Gap, which many asylum seekers pass through on their horrific journey to the United States.
And while the mayor hopes to convince some of the migrants he reaches in person or via local media to reconsider their trip to New York City, asylum-seekers already on the ground in the five boroughs did not give him good odds.
Eric Vega, 13, said he arrived from Ecuador with his two siblings and parents a month ago and disagreed that Adams’ description of New York being full would have dissuaded him from making the trek.
“New York is really nice,” Vega said in an interview Wednesday outside of an emergency shelter for migrants in Queens. “They give you food. They give you clothes here in New York. They give you what you need. There’s good people here.”