Democratic strategists have expressed deep concerns that the manner in which New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has addressed the migrant crisis could severely jeopardize the party’s prospects in the 2024 elections, as reported by The New York Times.
In a move that raised eyebrows, Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a state of emergency last October. This decision came in response to a massive influx of migrants who arrived in buses from the southern border, dispatched by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The governor’s office has claimed responsibility for transporting over 30,000 migrants to sanctuary cities and states throughout the nation.
Hochul, meanwhile, finds herself ensnared in a political quagmire. She faces pressure from fellow Democrats urging her to accommodate more migrants in various parts of the state. Yet, Republicans have seized this opportunity, wielding the unappealing deluge of homeless migrants as a potent talking point for upcoming elections.
“The reality is that when you’re governor, it’s going to be on you, whether you choose to engage or not,” Democratic political consultant Doug Forand told the Times. “It’s not surprising she doesn’t want to wander into this particular minefield, because it’s really ugly, but in the absence of some form of action, she’s going to have to take those stronger positions soon.”
The stakes are high for Democrats, who view New York as their beacon of hope to reclaim control from Republicans in the House in 2024. Their anxiety over Hochul’s approach to this calamity is palpable.
“There is no question in my mind that the politics of this is a disaster to Democrats,” Howard Wolfson, a former deputy mayor and political adviser to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, observed. “This issue alone has the potential to cost Democrats the House, because it is such a huge issue in New York City and the coverage of it is clearly heard and seen by voters in all of these swing districts in the suburbs.”
Wolfson went on to label the situation as a “ticking time bomb.”
Hochul has criticized New York City Mayor Eric Adams for his alleged lack of communication regarding the crisis. She claims Adams has been transporting migrants to suburbs without adequate notice and has even declined some state assistance, as reported by Politico.
Contrarily, Adams has consistently sought more support from the state government, emphasizing the immense strain the crisis has placed on the city’s resources.
“New York City has been left to pick up the pieces of a broken immigration system — one that is projected to cost our city $12 billion over the course of three fiscal years without policy changes and further support from the state and federal governments. Our compassion may be limitless, but our resources are not,” Adams declared during a press conference.
Hochul, in her defense, has advocated for a “federal solution” to the migrant crisis and has communicated her concerns to the White House. The ball, it seems, is now in the federal court.
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