New York City mayor’s trip to Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador fails to stop migrants heading north

Oct 9, 2023 | 0 comments

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has failed to deter migrants from making the treacherous trip to the Big Apple from South America, with many, more empowered than ever.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams holds a press conference with Colombian ambassador to the US Luis Gilberto Murillo Urrutia outside of the Grand Hyatt in Bogota. Adams also visited Quito and Mexico City.

Adams this weekend visited the Darien Gap, a treacherous rainforest traversed by thousands of mostly South American migrants a month, to try to dissuade them from coming as U.S. cities like his own struggle to accommodate them.

His unusual trip to Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia underscores the criticism that he and other city and state leaders have voiced for the immigration policies of U.S. President Joe Biden.

But for those making the journey, Adams’ pleas to dissuade them, is falling on deaf ears as some begged the question: “How can you tell someone not to follow their American dream?”

“I’m not going to be discouraged by what a politician says or a mayor says,” one migrant said.

Sitting on a restaurant doorstep with his wife and children, Carlos Gabriel Hernández told the New York Times he’d already tried and failed to cross Darien Gap.

The remote, roadless crossing on the border between Colombia and Panama consists of more than 60 miles of dense rainforest, steep mountains and vast swamps and has taken the lives of hundreds.

Despite the obstacles, Hernández said he was still determined to try again to reach New York and was puzzled, even offended, to learn why Adams had been visiting.

Johanna del Valle Acosta, told the outlet that while she understood Adams’ perspective, that she wished there was more compassion. “I think he, as mayor, is defending his country,’ she said. “Suddenly other countries see us as a threat, but we are good people who want to work.”

Meanwhile, Jhonatan Antony Velásquez Diaz, told the Times that friends who had made it to New York “tell me to come, that a lot of them have jobs.” “That lifts me up and helps me to keep going,” he said.

He said he doubted Adams’ words would carry much weight adding that “no matter what, people are going to get there.”
“I’m not going to be discouraged by what a politician says or a mayor says,” he said.

In a press conference during a stop in Puebla in central Mexico, Adams said: “Our hearts are endless, but our resources are not.” Adding, “They deserve a more dignified environment than we are able to give.”

The trip, traveling thousands of miles to make his case, highlights how the latest wave of migrants is reshaping the immigration debate among some Democratic leaders.

Republican governors near the border have been fiercely critical of Biden’s border policies. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been busing thousands of migrants north to New York, Chicago and other Democratic-controlled cities.

But in recent months, Adams and other Democrats have said their cities far from the southern border are now also being strained by a surge of new arrivals, many of whom are fleeing violence and economic distress in Venezuela.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker called the influx ‘untenable’ in a letter to Biden on Monday, while the mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson said this week he planned to visit the U.S.-Mexico border after more than 17,000 migrants had arrived in the city since last year.
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Credit: New York Post

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