New York City Mayor Eric Adams faced a critical decision: allocate funds to support the police department and libraries or direct taxpayer money to undocumented immigrants. He opted for the latter.
Adams unveiled over a billion dollars in substantial budget cuts, resulting in the elimination of summer school and pre-kindergarten programs for children. The city’s police force will now have fewer than 30,000 officers, marking the first time figures have been this low since the 1980s.
In a controversial move, the mayor also announced the closure of several public libraries to provide assistance to undocumented immigrants, citing the need for broader support from Washington, D.C. to address what he termed a national humanitarian crisis.
Adams acknowledged the severe impact of these cuts on the nation’s largest city, stating, “In all my time in government, this is probably one of the most painful exercises I’ve gone through.”
He informed The New York Times that the migrant crisis’s cost was projected to reach nearly $11 billion over two years, contributing to a significant $7 billion gap in the next year’s budget. The immediate implementation of the cuts and the mayor’s ability to enforce hiring freezes were highlighted by city officials.
Law enforcement officials expressed concerns about the potential exacerbation of the city’s existing crime problem. Patrick Hendry, head of the police union, warned, “This is truly a disaster for every New Yorker who cares about safe streets,” emphasizing that the cuts would roll back staffing levels to those witnessed during the crime epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s.
Critics argue that New York City, having embraced sanctuary city status for undocumented immigrants, now faces the consequences of its choices in electing pro-criminal, pro-illegal Democratic leaders. The impact underscores the distinction between an America First agenda and an America Last agenda.