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Why Does Eric Adams Think Migrants Are ‘Destroying’ New York?

Gaby Del Valle and Felipe De La Hoz join us to break down why the Adams administration has taken such a dramatic turn.

11:15 AM EDT on June 2, 2023

A man carrying a duffel bag steps off of a bus.

(Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)

Last spring, the Adams administration began talking about the arrival of migrants into the City's shelter system—and promised that New York would step up where other cities wouldn't. 

"When you think about this country, a country that has always been open to those who were fleeing persecution and other intolerable conditions, we've always welcomed [people]," Adams said at the time. "We are going to set the right message, the right tone of being here for these families."

But by the spring of this year, Adams had changed his tone entirely. 

"The city is being destroyed by the migrant crisis," he said, decrying the amount the City was spending on supporting migrants. 

More recently, the mayor has started busing asylum seekers upstate, claiming that the arrival of migrants has harmed the city, and will cause deep cuts to its social services. 

How has migration, which has been at the core of NYC's identity for so long, become such a headline issue, and why has the Adams administration taken such a dramatic turn? 

This week, the Hell Gate Podcast invited Felipe De La Hoz and Gaby Del Valle, the writers of the immigration policy newsletter Border/Lines, to talk with us about the causes of migration to the United States; the recent history of border restrictions; and why this current group of migrants arriving in New York City presents some unique, and some not-so-unique, challenges to an administration that appears to have lost the thread

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