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(WATCH) Chief Advisor to Democrat Mayor: “Close The Borders”

Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Chief Advisor to New York City Democrat Mayor Eric Adams, spoke to PIX 11 on possibly changing the city’s right to shelter laws. 

She said changing the law would alleviate the number of migrants arriving into the city.

“Others wouldn’t be so ready and able to come to New York City because they would know number one they’re not going to provide us with shelter,” Lewis-Martin said.

“So that would, hopefully, stop some people from coming in.”

“We do have in excess of 61,400 migrants who are here and we’re caring for them. Fortunately, all 118,000 who have come through our doors and graced us with their presence didn’t stay,” she continued.

“But we still have to find a way to get them to understand we are no longer responsible for you, so you need to find other means. Go to another state,” she added.

Lewis-Martin singled out the federal government to do its job.

“The federal government needs to do its job. We need the federal government, the Congress members, the Senate, and the president to do its job. Close the borders. And until you close the borders, you need to come up with a full-on decompression strategy where you can take all of our migrants and move them throughout our 50 states,” she continued.


“I can’t recall the mayor himself (or any other prominent NYC Democrat, for that matter) demand a full border closure,” said New York Daily News City Hall reporter Chris Sommerfeldt.

New York City Council member Tiffany Cabán said the Adams administration sounded like Donald Trump.

“The Chief Advisor is spot on: No sensible nation would let just anyone cross its borders unchecked. We must secure our borders & implement a screening process for credible fear, in line with the Refugee Act and UN protocols. We’ve been doing it for years; why stop now?” said New York City Council member Robert Holden.

According to the New York Daily News, “an Adams spokesman appeared to try to distance the mayor from his adviser’s remarks.”

From the New York Daily News:

“As Mayor Adams has said over and over again, of course this nation should continue to welcome immigrants — both those seeking asylum and those who are not,” Fabien Levy, deputy mayor for communications, said in a statement.

The U.S. “will always do its part to be a country that takes in those seeking refuge from war, discrimination and strife, but as we’ve stated repeatedly, we need a real decompression strategy at the border so that all communities across the country can do their part,” he added.

Lewis-Martin’s comments came after months of criticism from the mayor against his fellow Democrat President Biden, saying the White House needs to do more to help the city handle an influx of tens of thousands of migrants.

“When you’ve got the top people in charge saying ‘close the borders,’ it shows the xenophobia that is part of this administration,” Councilwoman Shahana Hanif, a Brooklyn Democrat who heads the Council’s Committee on Immigration, told the Daily News. “It’s dangerous, and it emboldens violence. We should be very worried about that.”

The mayor’s office did not immediately answer a request for comment about the criticism.

In the PIX11 interview, Lewis-Martin defended the Adams administration’s legal effort to exclude migrants from the state’s “right-to-shelter” policy, which requires the city to provide a bed to anyone who asks for one.

“The right to shelter was intended for our indigenous homeless population. So we argue that we should not have to shelter all of these immigrants,” Lewis-Martin said. “That’s why it’s important that the federal government does its job and close the borders. It’s important that the federal government declare New York City as a state of emergency.”


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