Local groups demand apology from Mayor Eric Adams over controversial comment

The New York Immigration Coalition joined the call for an apology, saying Adams should unite the city, not foster more division.

Brittany Cadet

May 16, 2024, 2:13 AM

Updated 5 days ago

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Local advocacy groups are demanding an apology from Mayor Eric Adams following a comment made during a recent press conference.
"How do we have a large body of people that are in our city and country that are excellent swimmers, and at the same time we need lifeguards," said Adams.
The reaction from local organizations, particularly those working with migrant communities, has been vocal.
Yatziri Tovar, a spokesperson for Make the Road New York, emphasized that the migrant community includes individuals with a wide range of professions beyond swimming.
"There are people here that have made this difficult journey of coming to the U.S., coming to New York City, who made this journey to be able to have a better life," Tovar stated.
In response to the backlash, a spokesperson for Mayor Adams clarified his comments in a statement saying, "The mayor has repeatedly pointed out that there are people in our shelter system right now who are qualified for vacant city jobs... And yet, we cannot hire them because the federal government has not issued them work authorization and the right to work,"
Tovar and other advocates say they are not satisfied with the clarification.
The New York Immigration Coalition joined the call for an apology, saying Adams should unite the city, not foster more division.
According to a survey conducted by Make the Road New York, migrants face significant challenges, with finding steady work and securing housing being the top stressors for 64% of those surveyed.
Despite the controversy, Mayor Adams says he remains committed to accelerating the process for granting work permits to migrants.


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