Leaders of Democratic-run major cities are pleading for President Biden to provide federal aid as migrants continue to flow into their jurisdictions from border states.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams expressed outrage this week after Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced plans to transport migrants to New York, echoing programs from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Adams says his city is currently working to house some 30,000 migrants.
‘One time we had to deal with Republican governors sending migrants to New York. Now we’re dealing with Democratic governors sending migrants to New York,’ Adams said at a Wednesday press conference.
What’s callous is how we have been ignored as a city. And now I have to make tough decisions on the resources of New York … it is time for the federal government to step up,’ he added.
Polis argues he is not emulating the programs of his Republican counterpart, saying the increase in migrant transports is due to a backlog caused by the severe winter storm that struck much of the U.S. just before Christmas.
The mayors of Chicago and Washington, D.C. have also been demanding federal assistance since the fall, however. City officials have been in contact with the White House throughout the latter half of 2022, according to Politico. The mayors seek direct funding and the ability to transfer migrants elsewhere, among other things.
‘We need federal support, resources, communication and collaboration,’ Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in September. ‘And that has to come in short order.’
Biden’s administration has lauded significant immigration funding included in the 2023 budget, but the president has rarely addressed tech issues directly. Republican governors first began bussing migrants in an attempt to force America’s leaders in powerful cities to confront the reality of the ongoing immigration crisis.
The U.S. has seen record-breaking border crossings throughout Biden’s tenure, and especially in the final months of 2022. The White House long sought to dismiss the surge as an annual occurrence, but historical data shows the current crisis is far beyond traditional yearly surges.
Biden announced plans on Thursday to visit the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time in his presidency. The White House also unveiled a handful of policies aimed at stemming the flow at the border. They include expanding a humanitarian parole program for Venezuelan nationals to include Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans, as well as increasing refugee resettlements.
Biden acknowledged the changes aren’t up to the task, however.
‘These actions alone that I’m going to announce today aren’t going to fix our entire immigration system but they can help us a good deal in managing what is a difficult challenge,’ he said.