Hochul attends Biden’s rightward border security announcement

A bipartisan group of elected officials traveled to D.C. for the president’s announcement of executive action on immigration.

Gov. Kathy Hochul joined other local officials at Biden’s announcement.

Gov. Kathy Hochul joined other local officials at Biden’s announcement. Screenshot/The White House

On Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul joined a bipartisan collection of lawmakers from federal and state governments in Washington to hear President Joe Biden announce his administration will bar migrants who enter the country illegally from receiving asylum. New York City Mayor Eric Adams was a notable absence as Biden announced new border policies following the GOP torpedo of earlier border deals.

The ban wouldn’t apply to unaccompanied children and would most likely go in place immediately. Senior Biden officials said it would be in effect so long as border encounters exceed a daily average of 1,500, a number crossed long ago. Biden’s announcement follows recent announcements of executive actions that would speed up asylum decisions and increase law enforcement at the border. Former President Trump, blamed by many for sabotaging bipartisan border negotiations, drew Biden’s ire during the announcement. 

“He didn't want to fix the issue,” said Biden. “He wanted to use it to attack me.”

Hochul has made similar comments in the past, wondering aloud why New York’s Republican delegation to Congress doesn’t demand House leadership come to a border agreement while New York’s migrant crisis reaches critical levels. In New York City, accommodating migrants remains a hot-button issue. The Adams administration has imposed 60-day limits for families and has begun evictions from migrant shelters

Adams told reporters in New York that he supported any actions that slowed the flow of migrants into the country and wasn’t affected by the lack of an invitation. “I do not have to raise my hand and say, ‘Please invite me, sir’. Trust me, I got too much to do on my calendar,” he said. “You should be asking, ‘why can’t I come to Eric’s events?’” 

However, Adams has criticized Biden’s handling of the border, specifically the lack of aid given to New York as it copes with a regular influx of asylum-seekers. He isn’t alone. 

Murad Awawdeh, president and CEO of the New York Immigration Coalition, said Biden is using a “Trumpian playbook” on border policy and that more legal pathways are needed for immigrants.

“(Biden) continues to double down on these cheap political points that are going to put people’s lives in harm's way,” Awawdeh said.

But Hochul, appearing on MSNBC, called Biden’s move a “great idea” after dealing with roadblocks in Congress.

“So, this will give us a place – an opportunity to have a little bit of a pause on this. Let people apply for asylum legally, before they get to the borders. And we need more judges and a better process,” Hochul said. “But President Biden's been trying to get immigration reform since his first day in office. So, this should not come as a surprise to anyone. You have to do an end run every once in a while, and that's exactly what today is all about.”

Biden said there was more work to do in spite of his recent executive actions and chided Republicans for a lack of involvement in a solution. 

“I'm doing my part. We're doing our part,” Biden said. “Congressional Republicans should do their part.”