Mayor Eric Adams is tired of the barrage of criticism he is getting for his administration’s handling of migrants.
On Wednesday night, that frustration bubbled over in a sharp statement to other local leaders at a community event in Queens.
“We need to ask our citywide leaders: don’t send out tweets, get your ass on the streets and start fighting this issue that we’re facing,” said the mayor in Rochdale, Queens.
What You Need To Know
- Mayor Eric Adams is going on the defense against critics of his handling of the migrant influx
- He called on his colleagues to stop criticizing him and "roll up your sleeves" to help
- Adams took particular aim at City Comptroller Brad Lander, who published a column criticizing the mayor's recent rhetoric
- More than 113,000 migrants have arrived with nearly 60,000 in the city's care, according to officials
Adams’ comments came as he was talking about his recent budget cuts, which might total 15% by next spring.
The mayor argued the cuts are necessary as the city is facing a $12 billion budget gap.
He compared the cuts to an unexpected expense in a household.
“All of us have to budget our household,” Adams said later Wednesday night. “You have to budget down to the dollar and then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the roof caves in. You have to find money out of those necessities you budgeted for. Our roof caved in."
Adams comments are in line with his continued rhetoric that the migrant situation will "destroy" the city.
However, fellow Democrats and progressives in the city have been pushing back.
On Wednesday, City Comptroller Brad Lander, a fierce critic of Adams, published an op-ed column telling New Yorkers not to listen to the Mayor and embrace the influx of asylum seekers.
“New York City’s history shows that immigration doesn’t take jobs or housing away from people who are already here — even if it feels like that to people in anxious times. It drives economic growth that creates more opportunity for all,” said Lander in his piece for The Nation.
Adams shot back at Lander on Thursday at an unrelated event, questioning his political motivations.
“Like the comptroller of the city of New York, he’s supposed to be protecting our budget. He’s running around saying, ‘Well, there’s no problem.’ He’s in contrast to the reality on the ground. He should not be so desirous of trying to be mayor, he needs to be comptroller right now,” said Adams on Thursday morning on Staten Island.
Lander’s op-ed came just two weeks after he stood side-by-side with Adams at a rally calling on the federal government to expedite work authorizations for asylum seekers.
Of the 60,000 migrants in the city’s care, an estimated 40% are from Venezuela.
Officials have been calling for the White House to extend Temporary Protected Status, also known as TPS, to them.
Adams said he welcomes other officials to help in his pleas for more federal help.
“Those who are now sitting in the bleachers calling out what we could have done better. Roll up your sleeves, no one is stopping you from participating,” said Adams on Thursday.
More than 113,000 migrants have come to the city and nearly 60,000 are in the city’s care, according to officials.