Furious Republican lawmakers outside the five boroughs have vowed to fight New York City Mayor Eric Adams after he sued dozens of counties for refusing to take in illegal immigrants the city had once claimed it was willing to help.
“Mayor Adams has absolutely no jurisdiction or authority over Upstate New York. His attempt to sue over 30 upstate localities that issued emergency orders in response to his irresponsible transfer of illegal immigrants is unacceptable,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the third-ranking House Republican, in a statement to the Washington Examiner Thursday.
Adams, a Democrat and former police officer, on Wednesday sued more than half of the state’s 57 total counties for how they had put forth executive orders and emergency declarations that barred NYC from transporting illegal immigrants into their communities.
Some counties have obtained temporary restraining orders to stop the city from sheltering migrants in their towns. Adams wants to invalidate those local actions, arguing they are obstructing NYC’s efforts to respond to the ongoing “statewide humanitarian crisis.”
“He’s saying you can’t create an executive order because it’s a state of emergency,” said Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) in a phone call Thursday. “But the … state of emergency is because of the sanctuary policies.”
Since Biden took office, more than 5.3 million people have been apprehended by Border Patrol for entering the U.S. from Mexico illegally between ports of entry. In that time, at least 2 million people have been released into the interior of the U.S. and permitted to travel anywhere in the country as they await removal proceedings in court — years down the road.
Less than 1% of all releases were bused by Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX), and most have made their way to New York on their own accord.
Adams said the state has assisted 65,000 people but cannot continue to bear the burden across its five boroughs.
In the meantime, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) is locking down a deal to house some of the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants at state university campuses during the summer months, while Adams has noted an empty prison as another option.
Down on the 130-mile-long Long Island, GOP Rep. Anthony D’Esposito said the city and state have failed to come up with a plan to respond for more than the two years that illegal immigrants began surging across the border and up to northern cities where they can receive driver’s licenses, food stamps, and a slew of other taxpayer-funded benefits.
Illegal immigrants from the border who are later arrested by local or state police on most criminal charges will also not be turned over to federal immigration authorities for removal proceedings, turning these cities into sanctuary zones of protection for people illegally residing in the country.
New York members of Congress recently hauled in more than $100 million in federal taxpayer money to help cover the costs. Adams has claimed the immigrant influx cost New York $4 billion — with no end in sight.
“Now the rubber is meeting the road, and there were no plans in place to even handle the migrants as part of a sanctuary city,” D’Esposito said. “You can’t just tout the fact that you are welcoming to all. You don’t have plans in place. And that’s what we’re seeing now.”
Stefanik agreed that Hochul and Adams’s “mismanagement” had “made the crisis worse,” and now leaders were trying to push the problem onto suburban and rural communities.
“Forcing these communities to take in illegal immigrants is preposterous,” Stefanik said. “I stand with Fulton, Herkimer, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schoharie, and Warren counties as well as all other Upstate New York and North Country localities that are being unfairly targeted for making responsible decisions that were in the best interest of their residents.”
“We’re not doing right by the people trying to come to the country, and we’re not doing right by Americans,” D’Esposito added.