NYC Mayor Eric Adams defends stance on migrants, Jordan Neely

Mayor Eric Adams defended his stance on New York City’s ongoing migrants crisis on Thursday morning, saying that he “did not write” the laws some say are aiding and abetting the deluge of new arrivals – but punted the ongoing controversy over Jordan Neely’s death while applauding himself for running a “complicated city.”

“I don’t think anyone [writing the laws] thought about a humanitarian crisis on this level,” Adams said during the 16-minute appearance on 77 WABC’s “Sid & Friends In The Morning.

“Eric Adams did not write these laws, but we have an New York State Constitution,” he noted, emphasizing that his administration must “abide by the law” as it continues to grapple with the onslaught of migrants from the southern border pouring into the city each day.

Just last week, Adams made headlines when he claimed that 900 asylum seekers arrived in New York City in a single day. The city is reportedly housing over 41,000 new arrivals across 150 over-stretched shelters.

Eric Adams appeared on “Sid & Friends In The Morning” on Thursday.
Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

“How do you [allow asylum seekers in] correctly? New York City should not be the blueprint for every other state to say, ‘Send whoever…they should go to New York City.’ That’s just not right,” he explained Thursday.

Adams also addressed his administration’s recent move to modify the Big Apple’s “right to shelter” policy, though he clarified that the rule was different from the controversial idea of a sanctuary city.

“Those who are here as asylum seekers are not here illegally– they were paroled into the country by Border Patrol,” he told host Sid Rosenberg.

Migrants gather outside the Roosevelt Hotel, which is a resource center for asylum seekers.
Migrants gather outside the Roosevelt Hotel, which is a resource center for asylum seekers.
Christopher Sadowski

“People are mixing up people who are here illegally – that is where ‘sanctuary city’ comes from – and have nothing to do on migrant situation.”

Hizzoner added that he looked forward to getting “clarity” on the right to shelter in court.

He bristled, however, when Rosenberg pushed him to namecheck the Biden administration’s approach to the migrant wave in the wake of the end of Title 42 earlier this month.

Apparent migrants seen outside of the Roosevelt Hotel.
Adams defended his approach to the migrant crisis.
Christopher Sadowski

“The goal is to find a real way to manage the problem. We did have this problem when Trump was in office – what happened was they implemented Title 42 because of the COVID issue,” Adams said, insisting that the root of the issue was Republicans’ unwillingness to discuss immigration reform.

“People are already incentivized [to come to America]…We’ve got 70,000 migrants that have come through the city…the floodgates are already open,” he added.

Rosenberg also pressed Adams on the death of Jordan Neely, the subway dancer who died after being held in a 15-minute headlock by former Marine Daniel Penny.

Jordan Neely in the chokehold.
Jordan Neely died after he was put in a chokehold by Daniel Penny on the NYC subway.
Juan Vazquez

Penny, who spoke to The Post over the weekend, has since been charged with manslaughter.

“[The case is] in the hands of the District Attorney,” Adams said.

The mayor previously faced criticism for his navel-gazing comments on the tragedy. Neely’s uncle, Christopher Neely, said Hizzoner was not welcome at his nephew’s funeral.

“Nobody black that’s in the neighborhood really believes in him. It’s more him partying at night and coming home at 4 or 5 a.m.,” the infuriated relative ranted.

Neely's casket.
Neely’s uncle previously said that Adams was not welcome at the subway dancer’s funeral. / MEGA

“What I must do is look out for the Jordan Neelys that are on our subway system right now. How do we deal with those who can’t take care of their basic needs?” Adams said.

“I don’t see a lot of people [on the subway] talking to the people who are dealing with mental illness, giving them care, and talking them into receiving treatment,” the self-proclaimed public transit frequenter continued.

Adams attributed the criticism of his approach to both Neely’s death and the migrant crisis to a fundamental misunderstanding amongst his constituents. 

“I’m running a complicated city with many nuances,” he boasted.

“People think every issue is one way or the other, and it’s not.”