Editor's Note

Editor’s Note: Migrants are people, not pawns

Texas and Arizona’s little game of busing people who crossed the border illegally to Washington, D.C., has now got New York City involved.

City officials held a surprise press conference on Thursday where they admitted that the number Adams used in his comment on the asylum-seekers was based on an estimate.

City officials held a surprise press conference on Thursday where they admitted that the number Adams used in his comment on the asylum-seekers was based on an estimate. Katie McTiernan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Eric Adams last week was quick to accuse Texas and Arizona for sending “2,800 asylum-seekers” by bus to New York City, where he claimed they were responsible for a spike in the number of people entering the city’s shelter system. The mayor even accused federal officials of sending these “individuals” to New York. The New York Post followed suit with an exclusive story under the headline, “Migrants sent to NYC amid homeless shelter crisis have no local ties, were directed here by Biden admin.

News outlets confirmed that while Texas and Arizona had bused migrants to Washington, D.C., in response to President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, they had not sent them to New York City. It’s unclear if Adams and the Post were referring to border officials when their accusations targeted federal officials and Biden.

City officials then held a surprise press conference on Thursday where they admitted that the number Adams used in his comment on the asylum-seekers was based on an estimate. Advocates for homeless people suggested Adams exaggerated to detract attention from the city’s affordable housing needs. More shocking was another admission from officials that the city “failed” to provide legally mandated shelter placements to four immigrant families.

These migrants are human beings, and states that are using them to play political games have no shame. Adams rightly acknowledged the city’s failure in housing the four families and said most family members were eventually given shelter beds. At least after finally arriving in New York City, they have the promise of a new place they can call home. The Statue of Liberty reminds us every day.

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