New York City Mayor Eric Adams’s top advisor said the Biden administration must take action to prevent illegal immigration.
Chief Advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin said the federal government must “close the borders” during an interview with PIX 11. More than 100,000 migrants have arrived in New York during the last two years and the city is struggling to house and support tens of thousands of people as a result.
“The federal government needs to do its job,” said Lewis-Martin. “We need the federal government, the Congress members, the Senate, and the president to do its job: Close the borders.”
Lewis-Martin said changing the city’s right-to-shelter policy would discourage more migrants from coming to New York City.
“They would know number one, OK, they are not going to provide us with shelter so that would hopefully stop some people from coming in,” she said. Lewis-Martin estimated that more than 61,000 illegal immigrants are already in the United States.
“Fortunately, all 118,000 who have come through our doors and graced us with their presence didn’t stay,” she continued. “But we still have to find a way to get them to understand we are no longer responsible for you so you need to find other means. Go to another state.”
Lewis-Martin added that until the borders are closed, the federal government needs to develop a “full-on decompression strategy where you can take all of our migrants and move them throughout our 50 states.”
“The right to shelter was intended for our indigenous homeless population. So we argue that we should not have to shelter all of these immigrants,” she added. “That’s why it’s important that the federal government does its job and close the borders. It’s important that the federal government declare New York City as a state of emergency.”
Adams named Lewis-Martin his chief advisor in January 2022. He celebrated the Brooklyn native’s “proven track record of getting stuff done for New Yorkers left behind by government for far too long.”
“This is a 24/7/365 administration, working around the clock to make this city a safer and greater place to raise healthy children and families, and leading a robust and equitable revival that lifts up every one of us,” said Adams in a press release.
New York has struggled to manage the steadily growing population of migrants who do not have a legal status in the United States.
Governor Kathy Hochul of New York has also appealed to the Biden administration for additional support. She has asked for additional funding as well as expedited work authorization for the illegal immigrants who are now residing in New York City and other parts of the state.
Lewis-Martin’s comments were denounced by some members of the New York City Council.
“These xenophobic Republican talking points have no home in our City,” Brooklyn Council Member Shahana Hanif wrote in a post on X.“New York has been a welcoming beacon to immigrants for centuries and will always be one, no matter what this administration says.”