Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has critiqued President Joe Biden’s management of the U.S.–Mexico border, holding that the U.S. government lifted pandemic-related restrictions without a clear plan.
In an interview on WABC 770 AM’s “Cats Roundtable” on May 14, Cuomo argued that the situation on the southern border will likely “get worse before it gets better,” denouncing the Biden administration for having “no plan” when it reversed President Donald Trump’s Title 42.
Title 42 empowered border officials to swiftly expel illegal aliens on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19. The expired rule had been in place since March 2020 and was lifted on May 11 despite court battles to keep it in place. Biden has since enforced a set of new policies to crack down on illegal border crossings.
Cuomo, who resigned in August 2021 amid allegations of sexual harassment and criticism of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Trump’s rule produced a “more controlled border,” saying that Title 42 was harsh but was “the only thing holding the floodgates back.”
“It’s gotten to a point where it overwhelms cities all across the country,” Cuomo said. “What is happening to New York City and Mayor Eric Adams is one of the major problems that the mayor has, which is really bizarre, since immigration is not his problem.”
Earlier this month, Adams was criticized by officials in two New York counties for relocating illegal immigrants to their communities while declaring an emergency over the influx after Republican governors in border states bused them to Democrat-led “sanctuary cities.”
“Despite calling on the federal government for a national decompression strategy since last year, and for a decompression strategy across the state, New York City has been left without the necessary support to manage this crisis,” Adams said in a statement on May 5. “With a vacuum of leadership, we are now being forced to undertake our own decompression strategy.”
New York City has become one of a number of receiving points for illegal immigrants being bused from Texas border communities to other parts of the country. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been sending busloads of illegals to other states as a way to alleviate Texas’s own burden of caring for and housing them.
Cuomo said he interviewed illegal immigrants staying at New York hotels after they had traveled for months from South American countries when they heard Biden would reverse Trump’s border policies.
“There was no plan as to what to do with the people who you would let in. ‘Welcome everyone!’ OK! But you need room at the inn. Where are they going to stay? Who’s going to pay?” Cuomo said.
“Before you invite everyone into the country, you have to know that you have the resources to handle it,” he added, noting the situation is “terribly managed.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.
Cuomo’s critique comes amid reports that dozens of homeless veterans were evicted from New York hotels to house illegal aliens in their place, Yerik Israel Toney (YIT) Foundation, a nonprofit organization working with veterans, told the New York Post.
“Our veterans have been placed in another hotel due to what’s going on with the immigrants,’” said Sharon Toney-Finch, YIT’s chief executive. She noted that the veterans involved have since been rehoused, but the move has angered veteran rights activists.
Toney-Finch explained the organization helped the veterans to find temporary housing for about a month until they are able to find permanent housing for them, but the veterans were booted from the hotel after just two weeks.
“They want to get paid [more],” Toney-Finch said when asked to provide a reason behind veterans getting booted, indicating the city pays more for each illegal alien than her nonprofit shells out to get the veterans housing.
“That’s so unfair, because at the end of the day, we are a small nonprofit, and we do pay $88 a day for a veteran to be there,” she added.
While it’s not clear how much exactly the city is paying hotels in upstate New York for housing illegals, the New York Post previously reported deals between authorities and Manhattan hotel owners for sheltering them at $190 a night.
The expired Trump-era rule prevented many from seeking asylum, but it carried no legal consequences, meaning migrants were able to try again and again to cross, on the off chance they would get into the United States. Under the rule, U.S. officials turned them away more than 2.8 million times.
The Biden administration’s set of new policies includes some consequences if they’re caught entering illegally, including not allowing them to return for five years and possible criminal prosecution if they do so.
Other changes include allowing legal immigrants a path into the United States—if they apply online through a government app, have a sponsor, and pass background checks.
Under the policy, border officials will accept up to 30,000 people per month from Venezuela, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Cuba as long as they come by air, have a sponsor, and apply online first. The government also will allow up to 100,000 people from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras into the United States who have family here if they, too, apply online.
Others also may be allowed in if they apply through the Customs and Border Protection “One app.” Right now, 740 people per day have been allowed in using the app, which is being increased to 1,000 per day.
The days that led up to Title 42’s expiration were chaotic, with large lines of migrants spotted at major ports of entry. Biden, meanwhile, also predicted last week that the U.S.–Mexico border will be “chaotic for a while,” but he ensured Americans that his administration was working to make the reversal orderly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From NTD News