Eric Adams raps VP Harris over migrant crisis

Mayor Eric Adams appeared to lash out at Vice President Kamala Harris over the city’s $4.2 billion migrant crisis — marking the first time he’s explicitly faulted President Biden’s controversial “border czar.”

“There needs to be an individual who is dedicated to do the decompression strategy for the federal government. Someone should be at these entry points: El Paso, Brownsville, Texas, and others, too, to organize a real decompression strategy across the entire country,” Adams said during a City Hall news conference Tuesday.

“One person should, we should be looking at — it is often stated that as the role of the VP has too much in her portfolio to be focused on just doing that decompression strategy. If not, the decompression strategy can’t be New York City.”

Mayor Eric Adams,
Mayor Eric Adams at a City Hall news conference on Tuesday.
Paul Martinka

Vice President Kamala Harris.
Vice President Kamala Harris may have “too much in her portfolio” to help the city with it’s migrant crisis, Adams said.
AFP via Getty Images

Migrants camped out in El Paso, Texas.
Migrants camp out in front of a church in El Paso, Texas, on Jan. 5

Hizzoner didn’t make clear if he was accusing Harris of dropping the ball or blaming Biden for overloading his embattled No. 2 with more responsibilities than she can handle.

Adams press secretary Fabien Levy declined to comment Wednesday, saying, “We’ll let the mayor’s comments from yesterday speak for themselves.”

But a source with knowledge of Adams’ contacts with the White House and his thinking described the mayor as fed up with Harris.

“It’s been frustrating to not have a point person on topic that’s senior enough to make adjustments in response to the crisis on the ground. The main contact has been [the Department of] Homeland Security,” the source said.

Migrants get off a bus in New York City.
Migrants arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Sept. 6.
Robert Miller

Harris’ office didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Congressional Republicans seized on the apparent division between some of the country’s highest-profile Democrats.

“The Biden administration has created the worst border crisis in our nation’s history and the buck stops there,” US Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-Oswego) said. “The vice president has proven incompetent and lacks the leadership skills to combat this catastrophe that threatens the security of our taxpayers and legal residents daily.”

Migrants standing in front of a US border wall in Texas.
Migrants await transportation by US Customs and Border Protection after crossing the Rio Grande into Texas on Dec. 31.
James Keivom

Tenney also accused Adams of “pouring gasoline on the fire by accommodating illegal immigrants and begging for billions of dollars to feed, house, and care for them at the expense of the taxpayers of New York.”

US Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-Jamestown), who’s also the state GOP chairman, said of Adams: “It’s Joe Biden’s open borders policy that he’s complaining about.”

“The fish rots from the head down and this administration has proven they’ll never get serious about securing our border whether it’s hapless ‘border czar’ Kamala or anyone else,” he said.

Biden appointed Harris in March 2021 to lead his administration’s efforts to stem the surge of migrants across the southern border but she quickly came under fire from Republicans for not immediately visiting the region.

She finally made the trip three months later, shortly after former President Donald Trump announced he’d be touring the border with Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

President Biden.
President Biden appointed Harris to deal with the surge of migrants across the southern border.

Harris’ tenure as vice president has also been marred by a series of gaffes and the resignations of top staffers, with Politico quoting a source who said “people feel treated like s–t” by Biden’s No. 2 and others telling the Washington Post she’s a “bully” with a “soul-destroying” management style.

Adams’ comments about Harris came after he was asked what he wanted from Biden’s administration to help the Big Apple deal with its migrant crisis.

Adams said the White House “must come up with how they’re going to distribute the $800 million” in migrant aid that was part of the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending plan that Biden signed in December.

The city has only been awarded less than $8 million of the $1 billion requested by Adams.

“That is taking far too long. We have to get that done. Let’s get the money flowing,” Adams said.

Migrants get off a bus in New York City.
Migrants arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Dec. 19.
J. Messerschmidt/NY Post

Adams also repeated his call for “real immigration reform,” saying, “You know, this is a real problem that we have to address.”

The mayor’s Q&A with reporters came after he announced the creation of a new Office of Asylum Seeker Operations.

Adams said the agency would open a “24/7 Arrival Center” to replace a temporary setup Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.

Hizzoner also said he was in talks with unspecified “cities within the state and across the country” to resettle some of New York’s migrants.

The city plans to offer migrants “the opportunity to relocate to Sullivan County, attend SUNY Sullivan Community College, live in college residence halls and earn a post-secondary credential or degree,” according to a glossy, magazine-style pamphlet released by City Hall.