NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams blamed his latest poor polling numbers on the city’s migrant crisis on Thursday while acknowledging President Biden would not meet with him during his trip to Washington, D.C., to discuss the topic.
During a brief meeting with reporters at the nation’s capital, Adams told them he had already met with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and FEMA chief Deanne Criswell to discuss the crisis, and that he planned to meet Biden’s senior adviser Tom Perez later in the day.
“This is trip number 10. We are consistent in our message that New York City needs help,” Adams said with a rasp. “It’s clear that you can just see the poll numbers. The action of our national government has taken a toll on New York City. New Yorkers are angry. I join that anger.”
A day earlier, Quinnipiac University released a new poll showing Adams’ approval rating at an all-time low. The poll showed that part of voters’ displeasure with him is tied to the migrant crisis.
To turn that around, the mayor said he urged Criswell to stop allowing leaders like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to use federal funds to “flood” New York City with busloads of migrants.
“We’re hoping that FEMA reconsiders that,” he said. “I’m going to continue to lift my voice — even though I’m losing it — I’m going to continue to lift my voice to fight for the city.”
Adams was not lifting his voice to Biden on Thursday, though.
His trip to Washington comes a month after he abruptly canceled a meeting at the White House because the FBI raided the home of his top fundraiser Brianna Suggs. The raid was the first indication in a series of subsequent revelations that brought into public view the federal investigation into Adams’ connections to Turkey’s government.
Adams said that “every time” he comes to D.C. he does so with the intention of speaking with the president and that his team would “continue to want to sit down with the president and have a conversation over” the migrant crisis.
The mayor has estimated that the migrant crisis will cost the city $12 billion in the coming years and has instituted across-the-board budget cuts to account for that spending. He has also been critical of Biden’s handling of the asylum-seeker situation, and on Thursday continued to call on him to implement a more robust decompression strategy at the southern border and make it easier for asylum seekers to get to work legally more quickly.
He said he had “great conversations” with Schumer and Jeffries — but neither he nor the two lawmakers revealed much of what transpired during those talks.
According to a source familiar with the matter, the meeting between Schumer and Adams lasted less than 30 minutes.
Angelo Roefaro, a spokesman for Schumer, said the Senate majority leader and Adams “discussed a number of issues, including pursuing additional funding to deal with migrant-related expenses.”
“Senator Schumer appreciates the mayor’s ongoing partnership advocating for resources for the people of New York, as well as beneficial policies in the areas of housing, education, health care and more,” Roefaro said.