New York’s manufactured migrant crisis may lead to a real diplomatic crisis


February 23, 2023

By Matt O’Brien

It appears that New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the merry band of anti-borders, one-world-globalists currently running America’s largest city have discovered one of the few ways they could possibly render their self-made, and largely imaginary, “migrant crisis” even worse: Manufacturing an actual diplomatic crisis with Canada.

You see, the Big Apple is a so-called “sanctuary city” that refuses to cooperate with the federal government to enforce America’s immigration laws. But, being a sanctuary city is only a tenable position when the federal government bothers to try and keep uninvited foreigners from crossing our borders. In that case, you tend to get a slow dribble of illegals who show up in your sanctuary looking for under-the-table jobs. And, if you are a kumbaya-singing, anti-borders mayor, you can safely exploit migrants to virtue signal, without encountering too many real world consequences. 

But when Club Fed effectively renders the borders wide open — as it has under the Biden administration — the situation changes. In that case, illegal aliens start showing up in allegedly welcoming places like New York City asking for foodluxury hotel rooms, and cell phones, all gratis.

How does a sanctuary mayor pay for those perks? With taxpayer dollars, which are always in short supply for spendthrift jurisdictions like Gotham. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, “The problem with paying for government freebies is that eventually you run out of taxpayer dollars.”

And all it took for Adams’s sanctuary plan to fall apart was a mere 36,000 or so migrants. Yes, that’s right. New York City was faced with a group of migrants totaling roughly the population of one Manhattan city block, and the Adams administration went into crisis mode, begging Albany and Washington, D.C. for cash to deal with a so-called “migrant crisis.”

So, what does a woke mayor like Adams do when the cash reserves get low and the entitled migrants get cantankerous? Apparently, you send them to Canada. News outlets have been reporting that Mayor Adams is giving recent migrants free bus tickets to the border with our neighbor to the north.

The United States is now showing exactly the type of profound disrespect for the integrity of Canada’s southern border that Latin American nations have traditionally shown for the southern border of the United States.

At first glance, to those concerned with border security, this might look like an ideal solution. Many who trend conservative on immigration issues are probably thinking something along the lines of, “If these foreign ingrates aren’t happy with the luxury hotels here, send them to the Great White North.” But there are a number of issues with that approach.

First, Canada doesn’t seem to have invited any of the folks who are now “fleeing” free YMCA-style accommodation in New York. In fact, Quebec’s provincial government has flat-out told Adams to stop sending them to Canada.

As Quebec’s immigration minister Christine Fréchette has correctly pointed out, under international law, migrants are supposed to claim asylum in the first country they arrive in. For most of the NYC migrants, that should have been someplace well south of Mexico’s border. Migrants allegedly fleeing persecution at the hands of Venezuela’s communist government, for example, can’t make a terrestrial journey to the United States without passing through Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Nevertheless, few migrants from Venezuela ever seek asylum in any of those countries.

Moreover, the United States is now showing exactly the type of profound disrespect for the integrity of Canada’s southern border that Latin American nations have traditionally shown for the southern border of the United States. That’s a major problem because maintaining orderly borders generally requires cooperation from both nations sharing a common boundary.

At present, the number of migrants illegally crossing into America via the northern border is growing. Mexico recently announced that it has no intention of restoring the Remain-in-Mexico policy, under which migrants were required to wait in Mexico for their asylum applications to be adjudicated. And chaos continues to grow along the southern border. As a result, Mexicans and other Latin Americans are flying into Canada and unlawfully crossing into the United States.

If the U.S. ever wishes to restore integrity to its borders, it’s going to require cooperation from Canada to do so. Accordingly, New York shunting its unwanted migrants to the North is a bad idea — and one that is likely to result in a diplomatic crisis should it continue much longer. Of course, don’t count on the anti-borders Joe Biden to set Adams straight, as immigration incompetence seems to reign supreme amongst radical, leftist politicians.

Matt O’Brien is the director investigations at the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the co-host of IRLI’s podcast “No Border, No Country.” Immediately prior to working for IRLI he served as an immigration judge. He has nearly 30 years of experience in immigration law and policy, having held numerous positions within the Department of Homeland Security.

Also published at The Hill, February 23, 2023.

Get Connected

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date with immigration reform in the United States.

Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA) is a non-partisan affiliation of talented attorneys dedicated to pursuing cases that serve the national interest when it comes to immigration law.

If you are interested in joining the network, visit the AUSA website.