Adams Defends Work on Crime, Jobs, Housing and Says NY Forced to Do Feds Job on Migrants

Eric Adams said the city was hit with a “typhoon called the migrant and asylum seekers” and the city was forced to figure out what to do on the fly as 160,000 migrant seekers–as many as 4,000 a week–descended on the city. He defended his record on crime, jobs and housing and overall says he had “an Aaron Judge year.”

| 29 Dec 2023 | 02:36

Mayor Eric Adams, in his end of the year press conference, said that the city is generally moving in the right direction in terms of combatting crime, private sector jobs returning and housing and said he is not bothered by his declining poll numbers. He chided federal officials and to a lesser extent Albany, for not stepping up in the migrant crisis.

And as he has done repeatedly, he blasted Washington D.C. political leaders for ignoring what he called a “national issue.”

“The federal government said to New York City, we’re not going to do our job, you do our job. You take care of 4,000 people a week Eric, you and your team.”

He insisted until the migrant influx, the city’s finances were in strong shape with a strong AA bond rating. He’s now trying to close a $7 billion budget gap.

“We had all of our agencies respond appropriately to the crises that we were facing so we could be prepared for the rainy day. We thought we were going to have probably a few showers, but we were hit with a typhoon called the migrant and asylum seekers,” he said at a City Hall media avail on Dec. 26.

”Managing over 160,000 migrants and asylum seekers, 1.5 times [the population of the city of] Albany. The difference in Albany is they were allowed to work. We were not allowed to have those migrant and asylum seekers work.”

A day later, Adams issued Executive Order 538 requiring improved coordination from charter bus companies transporting new migrant arrivals into New York City. Under the order, Adams said that chartered buses bringing migrants into the city—many of which have been and continue to be sent by the State of Texas—will be required to provide 32 hours’ notice before arriving in New York City.

The bus operators will also be required to provide advance information on the population they are transporting, as well as be required to drop passengers off at a designated location in Manhattan and only between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and noon–or face fines.

”I have to navigate this city out of it,” Adams said during his Dec. 26 press briefing. “The bottom line, I’m the mayor and it’s my obligation and responsibility to find the solutions, even if we’re not getting the help we need from our partners in Albany as well as they go into this legislative session.”

He conceded that he knows New Yorkers are almost universally angry about the asylum and migrant problem. “People are angry about the asylum and migrants. I’ve never seen New Yorker as angry as they are now about a particular topic that they have all rallied behind.”

”I’m looking forward to continue to recover our economy and making sure that we can stop this onslaught of anywhere from 4,000 to 2,500 migrants a week,” Adams said.

”What I must do is to continue to manage, manage 161,000 people and at the same time, I’m going to show New Yorkers how to point that anger in the right direction and turn that anger into energy,” Adams said. “And I don’t wake up every day looking at the pools. I don’t wake up every day worrying about reelection. I don’t wake up every day worrying about, you know, what people think of me.

”I wake up every day thinking that I’ve got to navigate the city out of this or it’s going to be long term impact,” Adams added.

He is wrapping up his second year in office and starting on his third on Jan. 1, but he says it feels like it has been longer. “Being mayor is like dog years. Every day is a multiple number of years,” he has said.

On the crime front, the closely watched murder statistic will finish below 400, with 380 murders reported year through Christmas Eve, compared to 429 in the same period last year, an 11.4 percent drop.

In other crime categories five of seven major crime categories are down in 2023. Reported rapes are down 10.8 percent to 1,429 compared to 1,602 a year ago. Robberies are down 3.6 percent to 16,526; burglaries are down 13.3 percent to 13,484 and grand larceny crimes dipped slightly, down 2.7 percent to 49,571.

Grand theft auto is skyrocketing, with more than 2.000 more cars stolen this year than a year ago. Through December 24, grand theft auto is up 15.4 percent to 15,503 vehicle thefts compared to 13,430 in the year ago period.

Felonious assault is also up six percent to 27,299 incidents, compared to 25,745 a year earlier.

”I know it is hard to imagine, but about two years ago, this city was in a freefall. Crime was moving in the wrong direction. No one wanted to go in the subway system,” Adams said.

”Covid had engulfed this entire city. As a mater of fact, if you were sitting in this room, you had a mask on,” he said to reporters. He said people were fleeing the city.

”But look at us two years later. I say it over and over again, crime is down, jobs are up.”

On the crime front, crime is actually still higher than when he took office, but over the past year, the crime rate has dropped in five of seven major crime categories in 2023 through Christmas Eve compared to a year earlier. The two surging categories–grand theft auto and felonious assaults--are preventing bigger declines in the crime rate which is coming on down only a tick from a year ago. In the total number of crime instances, there were 124,192 incidents of all stripes reported, which is a tiny 0.53 percent drop from the 124,855 instances in the year ago period, according to the NYPD Compstat numbers.

Despite the minimal gain on crime, Adams gave himself a high grade overall on the year. “This is an Aaron Judge year, as I promised. Some real victories, some real numbers.”

“Being mayor is like dog years. Every day is a multiple number of years.” Mayor Eric Adams