'The rhetoric is disgusting' - Rep. Bowman speaks on asylum seekers and President Biden's visit to WCC
President Joe Biden’s visit to Westchester Community College comes while a battle is brewing between New York City and its northern suburbs over immigration.
Mayor Eric Adams announced last Friday he plans to send around 300 asylum seekers to hotels in Rockland and Orange counties to help the city manage the increase in migrants bused in from the southern border.
The plan was met with immediate pushback from Hudson Valley Republicans just days before Biden's visit.
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"Ask him what his plan is to deal with the humanitarian crisis at our border, and here in New York City, and the Hudson Valley," said Rep. Mike Lawler, of the 17th District.
But Democrats, including Rep. Jamaal Bowman who is hosting the president, will have a different message on Wednesday.
"The rhetoric is disgusting, it's gross, it's inhumane and it's our fault because we are behind the eight ball for our own nation in terms of areas like housing, education, infrastructure and jobs," said the congressman.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has issued an executive order providing local municipalities with more flexibility to support the expected arrival of additional asylum seekers once Title 42 expires Thursday. The pandemic-era policy was used to turn people away along the U.S.-Mexico border over health concerns.
The policy lapse is expected to significantly increase the number of migrants trying to cross into the U.S. Hochul's order allows the state to mobilize the National Guard and more quickly purchase necessary supplies like food and equipment.
The president is hoping to keep his visit on the topics of the economy by highlighting House Republicans' refusal to help lift the debt ceiling ahead of a June 1 deadline.
"Republicans are trying to hijack our budget to cut back in areas of tremendous need," said Bowman. "Issues of the debt limit, the economy, immigration, education – our district is a great place to champion those issues because we work so closely with organizers, people on the ground, and grassroots organizations in pushing transformation change in those areas."
This visit marks the president's third to the Hudson Valley since last October – a sign of just how important Democrats know New York will be if they plan to flip the House back to blue in 2024.