Former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasts Biden over state’s migrant crisis: ‘Worst government blunder’

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Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, slammed the federal government for the influx of illegal migrants in the state, calling it “the worst government blunder I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Cuomo – who resigned in 2021 after several women accused him of sexual harassment – made an appearance at the Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church in South Bronx on Saturday to talk to residents about crime, homelessness and the migrant crisis. 

“Look at New York: Look at the homeless problem. Look at the crime problem. Look at what’s going on in the subways,” Cuomo said. “And then on top of it all, we now have a migrant problem.”

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Former New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in 2021 after several women accused him of sexual harassment. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Cuomo went on to say he’s been “in and out” of government his entire life, working under former President Bill Clinton and alongside David Dinkins, New York’s mayor in the early 1990s. 

“This is the worst government blunder I have seen in my entire life,” Cuomo went on to say. “You have the federal government – which is where it starts – standing at the border with a sign that says, ‘Come to the United States of America and claim asylum.'”

Cuomo then shifted the blame to New York, arguing the state funnels the migrants only to New York City, “because politically, for their politics, they want the problem in New York City, and they don’t want the problem in the rest of the state.”

Since spring 2022, more than 175,000 people seeking asylum have arrived in the city illegally, city data shows. Mayor Eric Adams, alongside a coalition of other state mayors, has ramped up calls in recent months for the Biden administration to send federal aid to keep up with the influx. 

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NYC-Migrant-Protest

Demonstrators gather to protest the opening of a migrant tent city at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens City, New York, on Sept. 8, 2023. (Julia Bonavita/Fox News Digital)

“Mayor Adams says, ‘Federal government, you should pick up the tab,’” Cuomo said. “‘You started this’ – federal government says, ‘I left my wallet at home.’”

Cuomo said the state declined to “split the bill” with Adams. According to the city’s website, NYC is poised to spend more than $12 billion through 2025 to deal with the ongoing migrant influx. In 2023, the city spent just under $1.5 billion providing food, shelter and other services for the arrivals. 

“Now you want New York City taxpayers to pay this on top of crime, on top of the homeless, on top of the highest taxes in the United States of America,” he said.

According to the city’s website, “there does not appear to be a slowdown in sight for this national crisis.”

“New Yorkers did not ask to take on this situation, but many have stepped up to help migrants in need. Now it’s time for the rest of our state and federal government to do their part,” the city’s website reads. 

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Migrants outside Roosevelt Hotel

Migrants gather outside the Roosevelt Hotel, where they try to secure temporary housing on Aug. 2, 2023, in New York City. (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Tent cities and emergency shelters have sprung up all across New York City, making it a new norm for residents. Meanwhile, Adams also recently called for the “sanctuary city laws” to be modified to allow for deportation of illegal migrants who commit violent crimes.

“But those small numbers that have committed crimes, we need to modify the sanctuary city law that if you commit a felony or violent act we should be able to turn you over to ICE and have you deported,” Adams said at a town hall meeting last month. 

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To alleviate the strain on taxpayers, the city began bussing asylum seekers to counties upstate, sending off alarm bells to other local leaders. Broome County, roughly 180 miles north of New York City, last year responded by declaring a state of emergency in an effort to prevent any more arrivals.

In January, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $2.4 billion of the liberal state’s $233 billion budget would be earmarked for New York City’s humanitarian aid. Some of the aid would reportedly reimburse the city for some costs associated with managing emergency shelters. 

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