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Adams slams Hochul on migrant crisis: “The governor is wrong.”

Mayor Adams directly slammed Gov. Hochul on her handling of the migrant crisis on Tuesday, offering his most forceful criticism yet of a key government ally.

“I think the governor is wrong,” Adams said bluntly, calling the governor out on evading state responsibility in managing the crisis, and instead dumping the problem on the city.

Tensions have been rising between the city, state and federal government for months over the migrant crisis — but this is the first time that Adams, who has been a strong ally of the governor, has gone after Hochul by name.

“This is a real leadership moment,” Adams said at a breakfast event hosted by the New York Law School. “…We are the economic engine of the state. New York goes down, the entire state goes down.”

Hochul’s office declined to comment on Adams’ remarks, instead referring to her comments last week where she pushed back on the idea that the city’s right to shelter provision applies to anywhere except New York City.

“This is an agreement that does not apply to the state’s other 57 counties, which is one of the reasons we cannot and will not force other parts of our state to shelter migrants, nor are we going to be asking these migrants to move to other parts of the state against their will,” Hochul said last Thursday.

“Every county in the state should be part of this,” Adams said Tuesday morning. “We have .05 of the land mass in this state, and we have almost 99% of the migrant asylum seekers.”

City Hall didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Adams’ remarks.

Earlier this month, the state accused the Adams administration of mishandling the crisis by refusing state help, poorly communicating with the state and being slow to implement programs.

More than 100,000 migrants have arrived over the past year, with around 56,000 now living in the city’s shelter system. For months, the city, state and federal government have struggled to deal with the influx of asylum seekers, with the city opening around 200 emergency shelters across the five boroughs.

Migrants are seen sleeping outside the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan early Monday, July 31, 2023.

Anti-migrant protests have erupted across the city in recent weeks, including on Staten Island, the Upper East Side and Queens Village.

Both the city and state are being challenged in a lawsuit over their obligations to find beds for migrants under the decades-old right-to-shelter rule, which mandates the city provide a bed to anyone who asks for one.

In court papers, Hochul’s lawyers have doubled down on her belief that the law does not apply to the state.

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Adams is pushing to roll back the mandate, saying that it’s impossible to comply with unprecedented numbers of migrants still arriving and over 50,000 asylum seekers living in the shelter system.

Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Adams’ chief adviser, urged politicians to put more pressure on Hochul for not doing more to help the city tackle the crisis.

“We need our city partners to work with us to pressure the governor into understanding that this is a statewide issue,” Lewis-Martin said last Thursday in a private call to New York City Council members.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks to reporters on June 7, 2023, in Albany.

Last week, Hochul called on the White House for help in getting work authorizations for the new migrants and more federal funding.

“This crisis originated with the federal government, and it must be resolved through the federal government,” Hochul said in the live-streamed comments that accompanied a letter to Biden.

Adams said in a statement last week that he was “disappointed that the state today appears to minimize the role that they can — and must — play.”

“Leaving New York City alone to manage this crisis — and abdicating the state’s responsibility to coordinate a statewide response — is unfair to New York City,” Adams added.

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