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Hakeem’s Hometown Migrant Crisis

House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries is in the middle of a fight being waged by New York Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul—publicly demanding federal funds, lands, and work permits for migrants—against Joe Biden.
House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries is in the middle of a fight being waged by New York Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul—publicly demanding federal funds, lands, and work permits for migrants—against Joe Biden. Photo: Shannon Finney/Getty Images
Tara Palmeri
September 8, 2023

It’s the political third rail that Democrats don’t want to touch: A surge of more than 100,000 migrants over the last 18 months into New York City, thousands of miles from the southern border, filling homeless shelters, overloading city services, and fueling outrage on the covers of the New York Post and the Daily News, alike. Mayor Eric Adams, the ambitious and scandal-prone Democrat who was once viewed as a rising star in the party, recently called it a humanitarian crisis that will cost some $12 billion to solve over the next three years. 

Of course, the bigger problem occupying the minds of many Democrats is the emerging political crisis placing House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries in the middle of a fight being waged by Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul—who are publicly demanding federal funds, lands, and work permits for migrants—against Joe Biden, who presumably sees it as a political loser on the precipice of an election year. “​​No one wants to go near the story,” said a source in the Democratic caucus. “It’s like crime; Republicans see that it will work. They talk about it every single day and it starts to enter the public consciousness, right or wrong.”