After demanding repeatedly that the federal government do more to address New York City’s migrant crisis, Mayor Adams appeared in public with President Biden on Tuesday — but neither leader made a peep about the city’s struggles to absorb the thousands of asylum seekers who’ve come here since last spring.
According to a spokesperson for Adams, Biden and the mayor have not met since last month at a White House Christmas party.
Biden visited Manhattan’s West Side on Tuesday afternoon to tout the next phase of a long-delayed construction project to replace Amtrak’s Hudson River rail tunnels. Besides Adams, the event drew several high-profile leaders, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, Gov. Kathy Hochul and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
During a press conference at the construction site, those leaders focused their remarks exclusively on the Hudson Tunnel Project, which will get $292 million through Biden’s bi-partisan infrastructure law to help pay for an early phase of the $12 billion project.
Adams did not speak at the event, and Biden did not respond to questions from the Daily News about the migrant crisis.
“This is just the beginning. It’s the beginning of finally constructing a 21st century rail system that’s long, long overdue in this country,” Biden said of the tunnel project. “We’re finally getting this done.”
The project, which will involve completing concrete casing for a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, is part of the much larger Gateway Program, which, when complete, will shuttle rail passengers between Penn Station and Newark.
While Gateway is significant for the city Adams leads, it has not been a primary focus of his in recent weeks.
Much more pressing has been the city’s response to the more than 40,000 migrants who’ve come here since last spring when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others began sending them by the busload. For Adams, the new arrivals have represented both a humanitarian and logistical crisis and have led him in recent months to plead with the Biden administration to do more to ease the situation.
During his remarks Tuesday, Biden jokingly thanked Adams for giving him a “passport” to the city.
“Good to see you, pal,” Biden told the mayor from the stage.
Biden also said he chatted briefly with Hochul before the event, but he did not elaborate on what they discussed.
Adams appeared at the press conference just as it was about to begin and was the last elected official to show up. A spokesman for the mayor said Adams did not get any face time with Biden and confirmed that the mayor was not invited by Biden’s team to speak.
The spokesman did not respond when asked why the mayor didn’t show up earlier to discuss the migrant issue with the president. And the White House did not immediately respond to a question about why Adams wasn’t invited to speak at the event.
Sharpton invokes Donald Trump’s call for death penalty in the Central Park Five wrongful conviction
NY state budget talks drag on past deadline as Gov. Hochul, legislators go back-and-forth on bail, housing
Adams ally Jesse Hamilton nets unusual $24K raise after less than four months at NYC agency