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New York Post

Mayor: Why should my town bail out failure of Dems on illegal migrants?

By James A. Gagliano,


As Republican mayor of Cornwall-on-Hudson in Orange County, James A. Gagliano was invited on a call with New York Mayor Eric Adams, where Adams encouraged the towns to accept migrants bused from the city. Here, the retired FBI supervisory special agent, explains how the mayor dodged his questions. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Cornwall-on-Hudson’s board of trustees.

“Number one: Because it’s printed in The New York Post doesn’t make it a fact.”

That was Mayor Adams’ curious response to me when I bluntly asked him on a May 12 conference call why upstate, rule-of-law communities like Orange County should bear the brunt of New York City’s defiant “sanctuary city” status.

Adams had recently begun unilaterally bussing people to upstate hotels without prior coordination with county or local officials, and mayors such as myself were upset.

But Adams claimed he wasn’t to blame: “We have never encouraged anyone to come here.”
Migrants from New York City arriving at The Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh.
Daniel William McKnight for NY Post

No? Residents of other countries don’t see the pictures of migrants given free room and board in New York City? And was there not a deal with the mayor of El Paso to bus some people here?

No matter what Adams says, his actions absolutely have encouraged more illegal migrants to come to New York.

Obvious blatant gaslighting aside, Adams went on to reference the recognizably ethnic names of many of us elected officials on the call, highlighting we are indeed a nation of immigrants, while refusing to acknowledge the stark differences between legal and illegal immigration.

I was left disappointed when he sidestepped my question about his embrace of disastrous “sanctuary city” policie s that may now adversely affect the safety, security, and limited resources of the suburbs.
Orange and Rockland counties both declared a state of emergency to attempt to prevent migrants from being sent from New York City.
Daniel William McKnight for NY Post

Other concerned upstate elected officials were treated a bit more brusquely when they dared to question why Democrat-led Westchester County was not subject to Adams’ plan.

Confounding, unless you sense the politics at play here.

While comprehensive immigration reform has long served as a bipartisan white whale with plenty of blame to share, Adams’ apparent ire appears to be directed at Rockland and Orange County executives who attempted to stanch the flow of New York City buses by declaring states of emergency. Both are also Republicans.

see also
NYC suing 30 upstate counties for blocking transport of migrants

Adams’ war of words with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had consequences last month, resulting in Abbott’s decision to eschew DC in favor of the Big Apple for the selected destination of southern border crossers.

Adams issued a statement ironically decrying the “uncoordinated and involuntary bussing” from Texas to New York City.

The statement was replete with the obligatory inference of “racism” related to Abbott busing to “five Democratic cities with black mayors.”

It has nothing to do with race. It’s because of Adams’ own statements!

Running for mayor of a Democratic city in October 2021, Adams proudly tweeted : “Yes, New York City will remain a sanctuary city under an Adams administration.”

This, from a former NYPD cop who promised to bring law and order back to a city that has fully squandered the historic crime drop birthed during the 1990s and 2000s.

And now, with New York City overwhelmed by the weight of its own disastrous policy decisions and governors from southern border states having adroitly commenced shipping an influx of migrants to Democrat-controlled “sanctuary cities,” why should our upstate communities be required to bail Adams out?
Migrants getting on a bus at the Crossroads Hotel after arriving.
Kevin C. Downs for NY Post

Not surprisingly, on Wednesday, Adams’ office issued a press release outlining a suit brought against Orange and Rockland , as well as 31 other upstate New York counties and one town.

The suit ostensibly serves as a counter to numerous executive orders suburban county executives issued seeking to block the busing of unvetted migrants that have overwhelmed the city.

The state comprises 62 counties. Adams is now effectively in litigation with more than half the state’s municipalities. Not a winning recipe to entice cooperation.

This crisis can and should be laid directly at the doorstep of New York City’s longstanding defiance of federal immigration laws.
New York City is suing over 30 upstate localities that issued emergency orders barring migrants from being bussed to them.
Daniel William McKnight for NY Post

It has proudly touted itself as a “sanctuary city” dating back to Ed Koch’s mayoral decree on August 7, 1989, that “No city officer or employee shall transmit information respecting any alien to federal immigration authorities” unless certain, limited criteria are met.

These “sanctuary city” declarations essentially prohibit local law enforcement from inquiring about immigration status and reporting violations to federal officials.

see also Orange, Rockland counties cannot ban migrants coming from NYC: fed judge

They’ve been contested in the Second Circuit and exacerbate an already-difficult job for law enforcement while sending the wrong message to those who jump the line.

Let’s be honest: They are not all “asylum seekers,” with many coached on how to play the game to remain here.

As mayor of Cornwall-on-Hudson, a small village of 3,000 residents in Orange County with blessedly negligible criminal activity, I firmly believe this poorly planned busing operation has great potential for harming upstate communities that respect the rule of law and cooperate with federal authorities.

Yet when elected officials like Orange County’s Steven Neuhaus publicly state they were not consulted before the busing and push back on accepting unvetted persons who will require subsidies for lodging, meals, medical services and schooling for children, federal judges like Nelson Román smear these efforts as invoking segregation-era Jim Crow laws, and the New York Civil Liberties Union — missing the obvious irony — accuses Orange and Rockland counties of essentially interfering with immigration matters directed by federal law.

With more than 61,000 unvetted migrants having overwhelmed the five boroughs during past year, Adams estimates it will cost New York City some $4.3 billion across the next two years.

Factor in the additional estimated $9.9 billion cost borne by this “sanctuary city” that already houses some 1.8 million illegal-alien residents, and it is no surprise residents are fleeing the city in droves.

Mayor Adams, sir, it is neither “racism” nor “xenophobia” fueling our upstate communities’ concerns.

It is same “uncoordinated,” “involuntary,” and seemingly “targeted selection” of counties, amidst your proud recommitment to “sanctuary city” status.

We’re not immune to assistance. I served as FBI’s acting legal attaché to Mexico between 2013 and 2014, resulting in a rather unique perspective of border crisis from a law enforcement, policy and humanitarian perspective. Happy to speak.

But bringing litigation won’t help in the battle of ideas, nor convince those of us who sense the folly of current immigration policies at all levels of government.

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