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Mayor Welcomes Border Tightening by President Biden

The mayor discussed how the president's executive order stemming the flow of migrants will help the city, and other matters during his regular Tuesday press briefing at City Hall.
Eric Adams at the weekly mayoral presser with First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright (L) and Chief Advisor to the Mayor Ingrid Lewis-Martin (R).

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said his administration supports President Joe Biden signing an executive order that tightened border controls for asylum seekers at his regular Tuesday press briefing at City Hall. 

The executive order signed by Biden on Tuesday will temporarily shut down asylum requests once the average number of daily encounters tops 2,500 between official ports of entry. Only after the average decreases to 1,500 crossings or below for seven days straight will the border open up again. The order took effect immediately. 

“200,000 people entered our city, 200,000 people,” said Adams. “Whatever could be done to slow the flow, give us the resources, allow people to work, I'm all for.”

Tiffany Raspberry, senior advisor to the mayor, said she believed the mayor's repeated urging for federal resources led up to this moment. 

“Mayor Adams has led the charge nationally to ask the Biden administration to deliver more resources and help to New York City,” she said. “We believe that today's announcement is a direct result of his efforts.”

She also said the administration was notified in advance of the executive order. 

Biden's move comes under scrutiny from immigration and civil rights groups, including the the American Civil Liberties Union, who plan to challenge the order in court. 

“The [Biden] administration’s planned executive actions will put thousands of lives at risk,” said Deirdre Schifeling, chief political and advocacy officer at the ACLU. “We urge the administration to uphold its campaign promise to restore asylum and mobilize the necessary resources to address the challenges at the border.” 

In other city news, the Adams administration rebuked the City Council's ongoing efforts to amend the city charter to expand their current oversight on mayoral appointments of city agency commissioners.

Chief Counsel to the Mayor Lisa Zornberg emphasized the need for a balanced executive and legislative branch to properly govern the city and highlighted the importance of the mayor having “sole discretion” in selecting officials to lead city agencies. 

“The legislature is trying to take power from the executive. That was tried in New York City in the 1800s. You know who loved it? Tammany Hall,” she said, referring to the corrupt political machine that ran the city in the mid-1800s and early 1900s. 

Zornberg said the City Council bill that would help oversee mayoral appointments was "deeply misguided."

"It would upend 140 years of New York City fundamental principles of governance. It will lead to gaps in service. It will discourage good people from serving if they have to go through the political charades of hearings," she said. 

Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer said City Hall needs the ability to make quick decisions on agency heads so that city departments won't feel "destabilized" by the lack of leadership when a new mayor begins a new term. 

"At the beginning of an administration, you're making dozens of dozens of appointments to key cabinet positions. You are trying to fill more than a thousand boards and commissions. What you need in that process, in the beginning, is speed," she said.

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams in May said the bill is strictly "focused on improving government" and does not encompass the over 80 commissioner level positions appointed by the mayor, according to Spectrum New York 1 News.