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Source: Gothamist
Subject: Immigration

Mayor Adams credits Biden for border action while downplaying his absence at White House

Mayor Eric Adams applauded President Joe Biden’s decision to slow the influx of new migrants by temporarily closing the border, but he brushed off questions about whether he was even invited to Tuesday’s announcement.

The signing, which was attended by Gov. Kathy Hochul, put into sharp focus the fractured relationship between the two Democrats since the crisis began. Adams has been a sharp critic of Biden’s response, claiming repeatedly that the migrant crisis would “destroy” the city.

The president’s announcement represents the kind of policy intervention Adams has long been lobbying for, making the mayor’s absence conspicuous. The decision comes as Biden faces a seemingly tight re-election race against Donald Trump — who has attacked his immigration policy — and polls that show voter concerns over increased border crossings.

“I have too much to do to worry about what guest lists I’m not on,” Adams said during a City Hall press conference where he was asked whether he was invited to the White House.

“Trust me, I got too much to do on my calendar. They should be asking ‘Why can’t I come to Eric’s events?'” the mayor added.

More than 200,000 migrants have come to New York City since the influx began, according to city officials. Biden’s order would sharply limit the number of people who can seek asylum at the border, and would be triggered when the crossings are “overwhelmed,” according to the White House.

At the same time, Adams emphasized the need for the federal government to expedite work permits as a way of helping migrants become financially self-sufficient.

“Everyone wants to romanticize this issue and just act like, oh, it’s no big thing,” he said. “No, this is a serious issue that this administration is attempting to resolve.”

Administration officials downplayed the mayor’s absence at the White House event and instead credited Adams for leading a national campaign to pressure the president to provide cities with more help with managing the migrant crisis.

“We believe that today’s announcement is a direct result of his efforts,” sad Tiffany Raspberry, the mayor’s head of intergovernmental affairs.

She said the administration had been notified well in advance of the executive order.

Mayoral adviser Ingrid Lewis-Martin noted that the executive order doesn’t come with any additional federal funding for New York City.

“We still need the money,” she said.

In an appearance on MSNBC, Hochul called the president’s plan “a great idea because you have to deal with the cards you’ve been dealt.”

Hochul, who has become an enthusiastic surrogate for Biden in recent months, faulted Republicans for tanking a potential bipartisan border deal four months ago

“[Biden] did not want to have to do this,” Hochul said. “But this is what we have to deal with.”

“This will give us a place … to have a little bit of a pause on this, let people apply for asylum legally before they get to the borders,” Hochul said.

Immigrant advocates called the executive order “cruel and reckless,” and said it would illegally prevent people from seeking safety in the United States.

“It is cowardly of the Biden administration to cave to anti-immigrant extremists and disregard the legal and moral responsibilities to vulnerable men, women, and children who are seeking safety and protection,” Natalia Aristizabal, deputy director of Make the Road New York said in a statement. “History has never looked fondly on those who’ve turned their backs on people seeking refuge.”