Recently, New York Mayor Eric Adams announced that the city has printed thousands of flyers it plans to distribute at the U.S.-Mexico border. The flyer has a simple message to illegal border-crossers: Don’t come to New York.
The headline is in all caps: “UPDATES TO ASYLUM-SEEKERS FROM THE CITY OF NEW YORK.” The flyer goes on to say that more than 90,000 migrants have come to the city since April of last year. Now, the handout says, “There is no guarantee we will be able to provide shelter and services to new arrivals.” The flyer goes on to warn, “Housing in NYC is very expensive,” as is the cost of “food, transportation and other necessities.”
And then the message: “Please consider another city as you make your decision about where to settle in the U.S.”
Adams also announced that New York is going to get tough with migrants who are already in the city and are staying in its shelters. “In the coming days, the city will begin providing 60 days’ notice to adult asylum-seekers to find alternative housing paired with intensified casework services to help adult asylum-seekers explore other housing options and take the next step in their journey,” a city statement said. “Each asylum-seeker given notice will have multiple touchpoints with caseworkers over their 60 days to discuss their options and plan their next steps.” The short version of that is: We’re kicking you out. Find somewhere to go.
Adams, a Democrat, has come a long way since 2019, when he was the borough president of Brooklyn and, like some others in his city’s government, wanted to attack then-President Donald Trump’s policy on immigration. “Make no mistake, New York City will ALWAYS stand up to Donald Trump and call out his cynical plots to divide our country,” Adams tweeted on April 16, 2019. “To anyone in the world fleeing hatred and oppression, the ultimate city of immigrants wants you to remember: You’re ALWAYS welcome here.”
As it turned out, ALWAYS did not actually mean always. It didn’t even mean five years. Now, just four years after his everlasting commitment, Adams is telling illegal immigrants to stay away.
“There is no room in New York,” Adams said back in January. “New York cannot take more. We can’t. No city deserves what is happening.” In the case of New York, what is happening is “more than 90,000” migrants since April 2022.
Ninety thousand migrants! What a terrible burden. Now consider this, from the government of El Paso, Texas, a city far smaller and with far fewer resources than New York: “The number of people released to the City of El Paso and local nongovernment organizations (NGOs; i.e., humanitarian agencies) has grown from approximately 250 per day in early August  to as high as over 1,000 per day during the month of September 2022. The number fluctuates daily and is currently averaging 900 per day.”
El Paso’s burden dwarfs anything New York City has experienced. And El Paso is, of course, just one city along the U.S.-Mexico border. Collectively, border communities have had to deal with millions of illegal crossers since the rush began with Joe Biden’s inauguration as president of the United States.
That brings us to Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas. When Abbott first offered illegal border-crossers, whom the Biden administration allowed to stay in the U.S., free transport to New York, some dismissed it as a stunt, or worse. But Abbott’s move forced self-righteous New Yorkers to face the fact that their commitment to being a “sanctuary city” only goes so far. There’s no way, even with all of their resources, New York can offer sanctuary to even a small portion of the migrants illegally crossing into Texas, much less the whole U.S.-Mexico border.
Abbott proved to Adams and other Democrats in sanctuary cities around the country that their rhetoric means nothing when confronted by the true scale of the illegal entry problem. Perhaps it made them feel good to talk about sanctuary and welcoming and unity in opposition to the hated Trump. But it won’t solve the immense problem that President Biden’s policies have created.