The free-flowing border policies of the Democratic Party, haunting New York today, serve as a warning and a threat to the political dynasties that exist. Photo credit: AFP/Timothy A. Clary via Getty Images
Just a year ago, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York, involved in a tighter-than-expected race to keep her recently secured promotion, spoke majestically about New York welcoming undocumented immigrants to her state with open arms. Today, she sings a different tune, and the story of New York’s migrant crisis makes headlines daily.
As opposed to her happy talk about welcoming migrants last year, Hochul now pleads for the Biden administration to limit migrants’ entry into New York. Luke Gentile, writing for the Washington Examiner, reported that Hochul told reporters on September 21 that New York had reached its limit with illegal immigrants. “Places like New York really are at capacity,” Hochul told CNN. “We have large hearts. You want to be generous and supportive to people experiencing a humanitarian crisis, but there is a limit to what we can do.”
Funny, voicing those sentiments in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and other border states elicited calls for sanctuary states or cities not long ago, if not followed by outright claims of racism. Cities like El Paso, Texas (population 700,000), were expected to absorb tens of thousands of immigrants. New York City, with a population of eight million, had trouble finding room for just over 100,000 migrants in the last year. Something does not add up. As the crisis grows in New York, the panic rises, revealing the hypocrisy of the American Left, once again failing to walk the talk.
The piety and virtue signaling of liberals are coming home to roost. Welcoming migrants at a nation’s border while ignoring the governing statutes creates a situation similar to a small leak gradually bursting into a flood. Anyone familiar with a flood knows that pails, mops, and towels become useless. In effect, the migrant crisis in the United States, better described as a flood of illegal immigrants, has manifested itself in large American cities over the last year. The results have not been pretty.
The social welfare systems in place quickly become overrun. Those leaving a country to seek asylum in another often carry considerable needs, especially if they do so out of desperation. Before long, hospitals, schools, welfare agencies, and affordable housing become stretched. The upshot for the migrants and the already-established citizen or legal alien leads to frustration, resentment, and division. Those living in New York know these telltale signs all too well.
With the five boroughs of New York now housing 110,000 new arrivals and a tab of over $9 billion estimated for their care, the reality of welcoming illegal migrants into a country suddenly takes on a different meaning. Those paying the fare must understand why monies allocated for essential services get redirected to other priorities. The problem for Hochul and fellow Democrat Mayor Eric Adams rests in their previous allegiances.
Hoping to appear big-hearted and appealing to progressive demands, many of these leaders, knowing better, still chose to send a message to illegal immigrants that their states and cities would welcome them. The idea of America fulfilling the words of Emma Lazarus’ poem, The New Colossus, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” holds merit, but not in the extreme, not at all times, and not in all circumstances.
Often people like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) talk about welcoming all new migrants, despite it directly conflicting with their ability to ensure that many disadvantaged residents in their own district achieve food security, a job with a living wage, or legal status in the country. Many national Democratic leaders have advanced the idea of giving people who have broken the law, jumped the queue, and ignored directives protection from the agencies designed to enforce rules and deport illegal entrants. ICE’s (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) mission is to protect the United States from cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety. If elected representatives will not back up these agencies in performing their duties, it seems useless to provide them with a mandate.
New York City represents what many in the nation are experiencing firsthand. Dismissing the flow of illegal immigrants through the southern border is more than a difference in policy. Blue states and liberal-governed sanctuary cities find reality bites hard when a theory practice materializes. As Michael Goodwin of the NY Post recently reported, “MSNBC viewers rarely hear the unvarnished truth about the enormous border disaster, but Jeh Johnson gave it to them. The former head of Homeland Security under Barack Obama, Johnson told the outlet Monday: “In purely political terms, you want to maximize Donald Trump’s chance of reelection? Fail to deal with this problem. This will turn our politics upside down.”
As the crisis unfolds, more facts emerge, revealing the unsustainability of the circumstance. The $9 billion referred to earlier represents about 10 per cent of New York City’s annual budget of $96 billion. It accounts for the migrants at present. The number will assuredly climb, and so will the costs. The Republicans may find this amusing, especially after the outrage exploded against Governors DeSantis and Abbott for transporting migrants to these sanctified cities via planes or buses last spring. Today, the Biden administration is transporting people from the border to places they name.
Johnson indicates this will upend Democrats, much like crime did in the 1970s. When Democratic-controlled cities failed to control crime five decades ago, the only answer for the populace was to elect Republicans who would. It led to the Reagan era. The free-flowing border policies of the Democratic Party, haunting New York today, serve as a warning and a threat to the political dynasties that exist.
The issue is not going away, and if the Democratic Party continues to ignore the problems these policies create, voters will support candidates who will, namely Republicans. Are you snickering at the thought of New York voting for a Republican governor or New York City a GOP mayor? In 2022, Lee Zeldin came within 4.5 per cent of upsetting Ms. Hochul. Both the Mayor and the Governor know that Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in New York. Regardless, It did not stop Republicans from holding the Statehouse for three terms under George Pataki from 1994—2006, Rudy Giuliani from winning two elections for Mayor of New York City, or Alfonse D’Amato from holding a Senate seat from 1981—1999.
Adams and Hochul have taken their complaints to the Biden White House. They are running scared, Adams facing the electorate in 2025, Hochul in 2026. Governor Hochul has called up 250 more National Guardsmen to help with the crush. Adams has not renounced his city’s status as a sanctuary city, ensuring that migrants are guaranteed shelter and social services, but the pressure is mounting.
The migrant crisis serves as another reminder of how badly the Biden Administration is mismanaging the southern border, the hypocrisy of the Left regarding law enforcement or the Constitution, and the stranglehold the progressive movement maintains on the national Democratic Party. New York City shows how short-term thinking undermines efficient government policy. Like so many files in the Biden White House, expediency has replaced competency, dissembling substitutes for facts, and money salves every problem.
The electorate appears to be growing short of patience in New York. If they do so nationally, Joe Biden won’t have to worry about it by early 2025. His successor will inherit one more Biden calamity in a growing list of blunders.
Dave Redekop is a retired elementary resource teacher who now works part-time at the St. Catharines Courthouse as a Registrar. He has worked on political campaigns since high school and attended university in South Carolina for five years, where he earned a Master’s in American History with a specialization in Civil Rights. Dave loves reading biographies.