Mayor Eric Adams departs NYC today to visit Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia, according to a travel advisory his office released. Adams plans to also visit the Darién Gap — a jungle crossing along the Colombia-Panama border which many migrants have described as the most challenging part of their journey to the U.S.
The trip comes in the face of pressure for Adams to better manage the City’s budget as 125,000 migrants and asylum seekers have arrived in New York City, seeking refuge from persecution, lack of economic opportunities, gang violence, natural disasters, and other circumstances in their native countries.
The nonprofit organization U.S.-Mexico Foundation will sponsor the visit to Mexico. The organization consists of business and civic leaders, with extensive networks in the U.S. and Mexico, and was launched in 2009. Adams, not taxpayers, will pay for his visits to Ecuador and Colombia.
Facing a housing crisis in the city and the need for more resources to assist the tens of thousands of people who have arrived, the Adams administration’s rhetoric and policies has shifted from welcoming to disapproving. The most recent example of Adams’ shifting rhetoric happened over the weekend, when Ingrid Lewis-Martin, the mayor’s chief adviser, said the federal government needed to “close the border,” expressing far-right Republican rhetoric.
Also Read: NYC Mayor Adams: “I Don’t Believe the Right to Shelter Applies to a Migrant Crisis”
Following Lewis-Martin’s statement, The Legal Aid Society put out a statement in a tweet stating: “Xenophobic pleas to “close the border” have no place in NYC, let alone City Hall.”
The Legal Aid Society has been on the frontline of negotiations with the City over the right to shelter law for months. New York Immigration Coalition, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Make The Road NY, and other nonprofit groups have meanwhile been advocating against the city’s changing housing policies, lack of work permits, difficulty in obtaining IDNYC cards, and the city’s negative rhetoric.
This trip will be Adams’ second official journey to the U.S.-Mexico border. He made a trip to El Paso in January over the same issue of the humanitarian migrant crisis.
Hochul appeared on Face The Nation on Sunday expressing support for the Adams’ administration’s current stance against more immigrants arriving in the city. She also said Congress needed to put a limit on who can cross the border.
“It is too open right now. People coming from all over the world are finding their way through, simply saying they need asylum, and the majority of them seem to be ending up in the streets of New York,” Hochul said.