In the midst of the ongoing migrant crisis, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has called upon New York Governor Kathy Hochul to take swift action through an executive order that would prevent localities from obstructing the establishment of migrant housing within their regions. This bold move by Mayor Adams has exposed divisions within the Democratic party, as some members are growing concerned that their party’s handling of the crisis could lead to a political “disaster” in future elections.
The disagreements between Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul have shed light on the challenges posed by the influx of migrants, which has strained city resources. Adams has reported that over 100,000 migrants have been provided with shelter and services in New York City since last spring. However, some Democrats are cautioning that if the party fails to address the crisis effectively, it could have dire consequences in upcoming elections, echoing their loss of House seats to Republicans in the 2022 midterms.
Democratic political consultant Charlie King emphasized the urgency of addressing the crisis and expressed concerns about its potential to negatively impact the party’s standing. Likewise, Democratic strategist Howard Wolfson warned that the strategy of relocating migrants to surrounding cities within the state could backfire for Democrats politically, particularly in suburban swing districts.
The Times report also highlighted criticism directed at Governor Hochul, with some Democrats urging her to adopt a more aggressive approach in alleviating the burden on New York City caused by the surge in migrants. Advocates have called for Hochul to follow the lead of her predecessor, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and implement a statewide policy to manage the issue more effectively.
Amidst the ongoing debate, Mayor Adams has called on Governor Hochul to utilize her executive powers to counter localities’ attempts to block migrant housing. Adams’ lawsuit against 30 New York counties that aimed to prevent the city from placing migrants in their jurisdictions is emblematic of his efforts to ensure housing solutions.
While both Adams and Hochul have criticized the federal government’s response to the crisis, they hold differing views on how to address the issue effectively. Hochul’s office has stressed the city’s unique legal obligation to provide housing for those in need, while also emphasizing the importance of providing migrants with legal employment opportunities instead of relocating them against their will.
The discord between Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul underscores the complexity of the migrant crisis and the challenges it poses for Democratic leaders, who are grappling with how to manage the crisis while also addressing potential political consequences.