Mayor Eric Adams gave President Biden a pass Tuesday for the city’s escalating migrant crisis — even while admitting he was “frustrated” that the problem wasn’t being addressed with a national “decompression strategy.”
In response to questions from The Post, Adams again refused to say why he hasn’t called on Biden to secure the southern border, as bipartisan critics have demanded of him.
“I am frustrated with the fact that this is a national issue that must be resolved,” Adams said during an unrelated event in Upper Manhattan.
The mayor then quickly pivoted to address The Post’s front-page report about how more migrants have been sent to the Big Apple by the Democratic mayor of El Paso than by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Adams, a Democrat, has repeatedly attacked Abbott for relocating asylum-seekers to Democrat-run cities, but he spoke earlier this month with El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, who later revealed that Hizzoner agreed to “welcome” thousands of migrants from his border city.
Adams said that the difference between the programs run by Abbott and by El Paso was “that we did something that seems very revolutionary right now — we communicated” with El Paso.
“We attempted to communicate with Gov. Abbott’s people, and stated: How do we coordinate during a crisis?” Adams said.
“So yes, this is a national problem, we must have a national solution to this problem and we can’t just say: Let’s turn our backs on New York City. That comes with coordinating with all of our country with this issue.”
When pressed by The Post on whether he was letting Biden off the hook because he’s seeking $500 million in emergency federal funding, Adams said, “We requested money to deal with the crisis, that’s what we did and it’s what we’re going to continue to do.”
“This is expensive and we should not have to trade off dealing with the needs of New Yorkers and dealing with the needs of migrants and asylum-seekers,” he said.
“That is not fair to New Yorkers. I have an obligation and responsibility to provide the resources that New Yorkers need and I’m going to do that.”
Earlier, Adams also mentioned how he was “hoping the national government deals with the decompression strategy that’s needed,” without elaborating further.
That comment came as the mayor defended his plan to temporarily house migrants in a massive tent city under construction in The Bronx, calling it “a safe, clean environment as we process them for a few days to figure out their needs and move them to the right location.”
“And to those who are saying, you know, it’s inhumane to use tents, I mean, like: What are people talking about?” he said.
“There was a tent [field hospital] in Central Park during COVID. Do people forget? I was on the ground during COVID. I know that we had a boat, a hospital boat that was utilized. Other locations were utilized. This is a humane way.”