Jan 18, 2023

Eric Adams Speaks Out After Visiting US-Mexico Border Transcript

Eric Adams Speaks Out After Visiting US-Mexico Border Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsEric AdamsEric Adams Speaks Out After Visiting US-Mexico Border Transcript

At a press briefing, NYC Mayor Eric Adams answered reporters’ questions following his trip to the US-Mexico border. Read the transcript here.

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Marcia (00:40):

I have two questions having to do with the migrant situation. The first question is this, given the fact that you have said there’s no more room at the inn, would you consider either suspending or stopping New York City being a sanctuary city until such time as you can cope with the problem? So, that would keep people from coming?

Eric Adams (00:59):

Yeah. No, that’s not on the agenda at all. I think of as we celebrated the birth of Jesus, he was faced with no more room, but there was a place that was found and that’s what we are doing. We have no more room, but we are still finding spaces in accommodated and we’re going to continue to do that. That is our law, that is our obligation, and that is what’s morally right. We are going to do that. But what we are not going to do is to fail to acknowledge the burden this is having on New Yorkers and the burden this is having on our city. It is unfair, and we’re going to continue to make sure that we don’t have families that are sleeping in the street because we did not do the best we can to accommodate them.

Marcia (01:55):

Next question is this. So have you thought about talking to the governor and mayors and selectmen or whatever former government exists in this state about having some of the people who have come here move to those localities, those cities upstate or even in the suburbs to find the spaces for them?

Eric Adams (02:16):

Yes. It is called decompression strategy. It is how do you not overburden one city? How do you spread out this obligation, this national obligation that we have? El Paso is a beautiful city. Visually, it’s a beautiful place. The city was overrun. It was unbelievable how we undermined the foundation of that city as they’re grappling like many of us are with real problems. So, there must be a national czar. I think it should be done through FEMA. We should treat this the same way we treated any major disaster or major crisis that should be coordinating with the border patrol, coordinating with our cities, our states, to make sure that we as a country absorb this national issue. That’s what I learned when I was on the ground there. The lack of coordination is really causing this to be hit by certain cities.

Marcia, go ahead. I’m sorry.

Marcia (03:29):

Could you send people who already here who are over burning our hotels and stuff to places upstate where they might be able to find jobs and families to support them and things like that?

Eric Adams (03:41):

Yeah, I actually think it’s a win-win and that’s my conversation I have been having with my state leaders. I think it’s a win-win. We have many municipalities throughout the entire state that are suffering in population that are dealing with in the need of employees. That is why it’s imperative that the federal government allow people to work. When you think about it, it’s unimaginable we are saying to New York City that the people who come here fully in persecution in another country, that for six months they cannot be employed. That doesn’t make common sense. So I believe if we give the work opportunities, you are going to see a lot of municipalities who are suffering to have workers will allow and have a real partnership to allow people to come to their municipalities. Those are the conversations that we are having.

Speaker 3 (04:43):

Mr. Mayor, following up as far as the jobs, is the government ready to provide them with permits to have a job for one year until they can get their asylum in the process? Then number two, the $800 million that the federal government was supposed to give to municipalities, have New York City applied for that?

Eric Adams (05:03):

Yeah. First let’s deal with number one, we don’t have the authority to allow them to work. The federal government must do that. There’s been a universal cry from all of the cities that have been impacted. We have been stating, let’s treat this and give the ability to people to be employed. That’s crucial and that’s the foundation of why people pursue the American dream so they can work hard and contribute back to the company and pay taxes of. So when it comes down to is the federal government going to do that? I don’t have the answer. I’m going to continue to lift my voice and ask them to do so.

The second part of your question?

Speaker 3 (05:48):

The reimbursement.

Eric Adams (05:49):

$800 million. I had a conversation with Senator Schumer. We cannot thank Senator Schumer enough and Congressman Jeffries for their advocacy to get the dollars in. We don’t know what dollar amount is going to come to New York yet. We’re waiting to find out. But let’s be clear, even with the infusion of money, it’s not going to solve the problem. We must address the problem and have proper coordination, collaboration, and communication so that we could address this crisis that our country’s facing right now.

Speaker 4 (06:23):

Yeah. Mr. Mayor, have you or the governor had a conversation within any thought to using a large venue, an arena or a stadium or something like that to house migrants and have all these social services there, that can just have them all in one place and get served?

Eric Adams (06:41):

Yes. I believe in that concept of putting people in the setting and have all the wraparound services that are needed. We have been attempting to identify locations that we can do so. The federal government has land here, we need that land open. We have been in conversation with the state to look at some of the state locations. The governor has fully understood the urgency of the moment, and there’s a real collaboration that we are attempted to do to get spaces to do just that.

Speaker 5 (07:15):

Mr. Mayor, so what is the status of your emergency mutual labor request to the governor to house the migrants? But then also, you said last week that your new estimation is $2 billion for this crisis. How did you get to that?

Eric Adams (07:31):

Yes. First, we are collaborating with her administration, her chief of staff, her team. We need spaces now. We need locations now. A week and a half ago, in one week we got 3000 people, in one day we got over 800. Just think about those numbers for a moment. We are asking for the entire state to treat this as an emergency, and the governor understands that clearly, and we believe that our continuing dialogue and our continued coordination is going to help us address this issue that we are facing.

The dollar amounts that are needed is going to come from both the federal government and we want assistance from the state government to deal with the issues that are important. Thanks Evan. If we continue to look at the progress and if the borders, if the Title 42, if of all of this that’s going to happen in the Supreme Court, my guesstimate, based on what we are experiencing and if those numbers continue to increase, I think it can go anywhere up to $2 billion. We believe projectively it’s going to be about $1 billion. But if we continue and if we continue to grow, if you see another 40,000 people come here, those numbers going to continue to increase. That’s the severity that I believe we’re facing.

Speaker 6 (09:04):

I wanted to ask you about an article published in the New Yorker over the weekend about your relationship with Lamor Whitehead, I want to get in general your reaction to the article. Then specifically, see into the possibility that federal prosecutors have either interviewed people in City Hall, or with subpoenas it didn’t outright say that, but it definitely left the room for that question, so I’d like to just clarify if that’s true or not.

Eric Adams (09:27):

First, I don’t even read those articles. There must have been 20 profiles of Erics with a lot of innuendos. I’ve made it clear that the federal government is doing the investigation. I’m a former law enforcement person. I don’t interfere with investigations. This administration has not been subpoenaed. We have not received the subpoena. I have not personally received a subpoena. No one on staff has. So, as I stated a week and a half ago, I’m not going to interfere with any type of investigation or review at all. I said that to folks, and I’m not going to go back on that. All of this is going to play itself out and the judicial system and let it do so. The innuendos that are in some of these articles are just really ridiculous.

Going back to Eric, when you were in Bayside High School, did you steal a donut? Let’s do the investigation. This has been regurgitated the same. Everybody is taking turns right in the same articles over and over and over again. All of these innuendos that are in these articles, it reaches a point, you have to ask yourself what is the real purpose here? Is the real purpose to just create these innuendos of Eric does something wrong? Okay, there’s not much I could do about that. I see hands going up. If the hands are going up because you want to ask me something else about it, you could keep your hands down. I answered the question already and I’m not going to engage in it again. So, if you got a question on something else, you could put your hand up, but if you don’t, you could leave your hand down.

Speaker 7 (11:17):

Mr. Mayor, starting something else. About a week and a half ago you committed to visiting the East Staten Island school linked to an officer involved in an incident at a bus stop. Have you visited that school? If so, what have you learned? And if not, when do you hope to visit?

Eric Adams (11:32):

Yeah, I communicated with the police commissioner who is going to be doing some initiatives there with the community residents and leaders, and I don’t want to interfere in any way. Last week I spoke with the councilwoman who’s in charge of the area. We’re going to do something coordinated. I wanted to let them do their thing, but I will be going over to the school and sit down speaking with the students and engage. But I don’t want to get in front of people who already have something worked out.

Speaker 8 (12:02):

Mr. Mayor, you and the Comptroller have seemed to [inaudible 00:12:06] over your trip to El Paso over the weekend. What would you like to see from him as a partner in government? You’ve suggested that he hasn’t really been doing anything, just sitting on the sidelines and criticizing.

Eric Adams (12:17):

Listen, it’s not about criticism. This is the game we’re in where folks are going to criticize. Reminded me of a side note I want to share. But his first tweet to call for help was during the State of the State. The people of this city have been going through this for months, and his first communication was a week or so ago. He’s a controller. He should be concerned about our fiscal stability, and his answer to it is raise taxes on rich people to pay for migrant asylum seekers. You’re the controller, you should be concerned about the financial hit our city is seeing. He should be writing letters with me and going to DC. I don’t know if Brad actually went to DC at all to advocate for money. I don’t know if he called anyone.

My conversations with Senator Schumer, I don’t know if he did. I shared with y’all last week, I asked them, share the tweet, share the letters that were sent to say New York City needs help. So when I see someone tells me I should not go to El Paso to see this problem and to talk with the mayor there so that we can work together, I just don’t understand the logic of it. Is it political or is it something for the city? So, I just think it just bothers me when people are just disingenuine. We have a crisis in our city that’s going to impact our entire lives. No one is saying let’s leave people out of the city. For him to say that, that’s just a political commentary. We got to fix this problem.

Speaker 9 (14:34):

Two more. Chris, and then [inaudible 00:14:34].

Chris (14:34):

Thank you. Mr. Mayor, I’ll start with a question on the migrants, and if you let me, I want to ask a follow-up to Sally’s question. But let’s start on migrants. When you say there’s no more room in the city, do you have an idea of other cities that migrants should be sent to instead? Or are you just saying that the federal government should let no more migrants in?

Eric Adams (14:56):

Yes. No, what the federal government should do is to coordinate this problem. They should coordinate it. This is a federal issue. This is a national issue. El Paso should not have gone through that. Chicago, when I speak to Mayor Lightfoot, she’s placing people in the basement of her libraries. Houston, Washington. Washington is already dealing with their own housing crisis where people have to live in tents. This is wrong. For the federal government, and that is on both sides of the aisle, to not acknowledge that we are destabilizing our cities, I’m not going to remain silent on that. This is wrong for the cities of America to take this on. The federal government should step in and say let’s coordinate this, and whatever city is available to take a portion. Because if we all take a portion, it won’t overwhelm a city. 40,000 people, we are at the maximum in how we have people in our care. So, that’s what I believe.

Chris (16:04):

Could I ask a quick thing about [inaudible 00:16:07]?

Eric Adams (16:07):

No, you can’t. I already answered that. I told you that. Yes, sir.

Speaker 9 (16:11):

Being asked to ask this, Eagles, Giants.

Eric Adams (16:18):

I’m so proud of the Giants last-

Speaker 9 (16:21):

Any bets so far with the mayor of Philadelphia?

Eric Adams (16:24):

I’m going to reach out to the mayor of Philadelphia and I’m going to give him a vegan cheesecake. I’m really proud of the Giants that’s showing the can-do spirit. Many people did not believe they were going to get through this weekend and they showed what they’re made of because of the spirit of New York. So, let’s go Giants.

Speaker 9 (16:45):


Eric Adams (16:46):

Some great vegan cheese.

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