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Eric Adams Wearing Aviators in Colombia Somehow Did Not Deter Migrants

And more news for your Tuesday.

9:05 AM EDT on October 10, 2023

Eric Adams in aviator sunglasses and business attire walks with his hands behind his back with a group of people

(@nycmayor Twitter account)

Mayor Eric Adams concluded his four-day trip through Latin America this weekend with a stop in the dangerous Darién Gap and the Colombian port town of Necoclí. While he had used the first couple days of his trip to plead with people not to come to NYC because the city is apparently a shithole where they will be treated badly and be housed in atrocious conditions, by the time he arrived in Colombia, dressed in aviator sunglasses and an olive green button-down like the second-in-command of a 1970s petty dictator, he had somewhat changed his tune. 

Via the AP

Speaking from a dock where migrants take boats toward the jungle, Adams said countries in the region need to "come together" to find solutions to the immigration crisis being felt across the Americas as well as in cities in the United States, including New York.

He called on the U.S. government to find pathways for migrants and asylum seekers to work legally in the United States.

He was joined by a heckler who shouted "Shame on you, Mayor Adams," part of a protest that the New York Times noted was "hastily organized by an activist from New York." The New York Post reported that "a number of others gathered to protest the Big Apple mayor at the port town with another man holding a sign that read "Go back to New Jersey you migrant hating creep."

As for his stop in the Darién Gap, he apparently visited the dangerous jungle region despite pleas from the Colombian authorities that he not go, due to security concerns.  

"We had to convince the National Police to allow us to go in," Adams said. "They were clear that we should not go inside." Adams shared that "because he decided to visit the gap anyway, Colombia's National Police had to deploy dozens of officers to join him for protection." "They would not allow me to go outside their protection. They had 50 National Police that were there, they wanted to do 100, because that area is an extremely dangerous area," Adams said. 

Will Adams's pleas for people to not come to New York, which seemed to be the main point of his trip, be effective? Reporters for the New York Times traveled along with the mayor, and spoke with would-be migrants to the U.S.—and as the Times wrote, "most U.S.-bound migrants said that they would not be dissuaded by Mr. Adams's statements."

More, via the Times:

Jhonatan Antony Velásquez Diaz, 33, sat against the glass of an altar to the Virgin Mary. Beside him, his wife nursed their 6-month-old daughter. They trekked for 22 days from Venezuela and were robbed at gunpoint. Mr. Velásquez said that friends who had made it to New York "tell me to come, that a lot of them have jobs."

"That lifts me up and helps me to keep going," he said.

He said he doubted Mr. Adams's words would carry much weight. "No matter what, people are going to get there, and I'm not going to be discouraged by what a politician says or a mayor says."

Raúl Alfredo Chica, 39, runs a wood shop in Quito that makes frames for sofas and chairs. When the pandemic hit, his business was decimated and he laid off most of his employees. He fell into debt, then bankruptcy. In the middle of the night in late 2021, he woke his wife and told her, "I'm going to the U.S."

After a grueling journey by foot, bus and storm-tossed boat, he crossed into Texas and was promptly arrested and detained for two months. Back home, his equipment was stolen. Extortionists paid regular visits to his wife. Mr. Chica gave up and returned.

Mr. Adams, he said, "might persuade some people, but I’ll tell you this: Even after all that I went through, my wife now wants to go."

Adams, speaking in the third person, seemed to acknowledge the limited utility of his trip. "Mayor Adams showing up at the Darién Gap is not going to change the minds of everyone that's coming through," he said, according to the Times. 

And some links that will definitely change your mind:

  • Politico Playbook reports that Mayor Adams's good buddy and convicted fraudster Zhan "Johnny" Petrosyants was spotted in Mexico City while Adams was there. Surely it's just a coincidence!
  • Seemingly every single elected official in New York, from Governor Kathy Hochul to Mayor Eric Adams to Comptroller Brad Lander to Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounced a rally held in Times Square on Saturday planned by a coalition of groups in support of Palestine, held in the wake of Hamas's attacks on Israel and Israel's retaliation in Gaza. 
  • Via the CITY: "Around a dozen migrant families desperate to move out of a Staten Island shelter said they were scammed out of thousands of dollars by an employee of the shelter, who promised them leases and furniture in newly renovated apartments, THE CITY has learned." That employee, who has been identified as Cythia Guevara Rodriguez, has been fired. 
  • Maybe there should be fewer cars in NYC, just a thought!
  • "DocGo often billing twice what it's paid for staff in NYC migrant contract"
  • Via the Daily News: "​​Kristy Marmorato, a Republican running for a Bronx City Council seat, is coming under fire from her opponent and critics for accepting donations from dozens of employees at the city Board of Elections, where her husband works as a GOP commissioner."
  • Gothamist examined an eviction hotspot in Staten Island and found that much of the blame can be placed on "a property manager with a quick-to-evict debt collection strategy and bureaucratic delays by the Department of Social Services in making timely rental payments to landlords."
  • Coyotes are thriving in NYC
  • Teens, please don't do this
  • "Mob Allegations Tail Tow Truckers in City Hall Bribery Scandal"
  • And finally, what have we done to displease the weather gods???
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