How Biden's possible restrictions on migrants could impact New York City

ByReagan Medgie, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, February 22, 2024
How Biden's possible restrictions on migrants could impact NYC
Anthony Carlo has the latest.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- President Joe Biden is considering an executive order to stem the number of migrants at the border and the governor of New York said Thursday that she is open to the idea.

The new restrictions would give the president power to bar migrants from claiming asylum if they cross the border illegally.

It would require migrants to prove why they need to remain in the United States. Those reasons could include a medical emergency or fear of torture in their home country.

The Biden administration has been under increasing scrutiny by members of his own party for not doing enough to reign in the crisis -- with a direct impact on New York.

Immigration rights advocates are pushing back on the possible executive action despite support from local officials. The New York Immigration Coalition says they see right through it.

"We need the Biden Administration to champion immigrants and stop playing into the Republicans' ploy of attacking immigrants," said Marlene Galaz, NYIC's director of Immigrant Rights Policy.

New York Gov. Hochul said the onus is still on Congress -- specifically Republicans -- who scrapped bipartisan border legislation earlier this month.

Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom says it's too early to tell what the action would really look like under Biden, but relief is mandatory despite the rebuttal from immigrant advocates.

"I would tell my brothers and sisters at the coalition that I know that they know what's happening in NYC is not right," Williams-Isom said. "If Republicans in Congress can't act - we would appreciate if the White House and the federal government would take action that would provide some relief to localities."

Critics say the influx of migrants from South America, China, and other countries poses a national security risk.

In New York City, 170,000 migrants are in the system, and recently, some are making headlines for their involvement in crimes. Most notable is the group of eight males accused of attacking two NYPD officers in Times Square in late January.

City Councilman Bob Holden has been vocal in his support of restrictions for asylum seekers.

"Right now we're allowing essentially anyone who says they're seeking asylum without even checking on it first," Holden said. "When you talk to the migrants and when reporters have spoken to migrants in Manhattan they say they're here to get jobs, they need money."

Mayor Eric Adams told Eyewitness News in an exclusive interview that he is cutting funding for asylum seekers by an additional 10%, which is on top of a previous 20% cut.

These cuts will take effect in the coming weeks.

ALSO READ | First on Eyewitness News: Mayor Eric Adams slashes funding to migrants, cancels city budget cuts

NJ Burkett reports.


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