We are outraged with Mayor Adams’s response towards asylum seekers over the last few weeks.
Earlier this week, the Adams administration brought in the police to remove, and destroy the few belongings of asylum seekers who were resisting the City’s attempts to move them to a crowded shelter. People should not be moved by threat of arrest and there is no excuse for calling the police to criminalize asylum seekers.
New York City must continue being a welcoming city for all–and that means that its leaders must not use divisive language or take actions that harm asylum seekers and immigrant communities.
At Make the Road NY, we are continuing to provide asylum seekers with cell phones, as well as monthly orientations held at our offices where they can learn about all our survival services, and ways to navigate the city.
Last month, Mayor Adams said that “there is no room” for more asylum seekers and migrants–and that New York City was “full.” At the same time, the Mayor keeps bemoaning that too many people are leaving New York City and saying he wants people in Florida to move here. But, which is it, are we full, or are we only full when it comes to migrants and asylum seekers from Latin America?
He has also continued to wrongly suggest that asylum seekers are to blame for his dangerous budget cuts to schools, libraries, and more. That too is divisive and unacceptable.
Welcoming immigrants is part of the very fabric of our city. It has made this city strong, diverse, and successful–and it will continue to do so.
We agree with city leaders that federal support is needed and that work permits should be expedited. Proper coordination and collaboration between federal, state, and local governments are key to successfully welcoming asylum seekers.
But, let’s be clear on one thing: asylum seekers are NOT the problem. They are fleeing very difficult circumstances in search of a better life for themselves and their families, and their rights must be protected. New York should focus on the huge long-term opportunity here. These new New Yorkers are going to strengthen and positively contribute to our city’s economy.
Let’s make sure they are housed and have access to basic services–AND let’s invest in adult literacy and workforce development programs to seize this opportunity.
Instead of dividing New Yorkers, our state and city leaders must together to ensure New York is a welcoming city for all and everyone’s needs are met. Thank you for your ongoing support in these efforts.