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Mayor Eric Adams wraps up Latin America trip in Colombia

Mayor Adams spends final night of Latin America trip in Colombia
Mayor Adams spends final night of Latin America trip in Colombia 01:50

NECOCLI, Colombia — Mayor Eric Adams spent his final night in Colombia on Saturday, capping a four-day trip to Latin America.

His message to migrants is New York City is at capacity, but he also met with lawmakers there to try to find solutions to the asylum seeker crisis.

Adams stresses need to work together to solve asylum seeker crisis

"The reality is we must work together to help solve the ... crises that are pushing people to make desperate journeys and risky decisions," Adams said Saturday night.

The mayor says asylum seekers are being fed misinformation that New York has jobs and shelter, but the city has run out of both.

A group of protesters met the mayor as he addressed the media in Necocli on Saturday afternoon.

"I think that we need a real analysis," he said. "We are a family, and to put this on one family member is not the right thing to do."

Adams call for right to work

The mayor called on the U.S. government to find pathways for migrants and asylum seekers to work legally in the United States.

"When you look at Colombia they have really shown how to absorb individuals into their societies, and one of the most important ways to do it is to allow people to work," Adams told reporters in Necocli. "Nothing is more humane and, nothing is more American than your right to work, and we believe that is a right we should extend."

New York City has struggled to provide emergency accommodation to tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the city this year, with Adams and other city leaders calling on the federal government to speed up work authorizations for those who are already in the city.

A unique rule dating from the 1980s requires New York to provide shelter to anyone in need. Adams has said the cost of supporting migrants could climb to $12 billion in the following three years, and this week challenged the statute that obliges the city to provide migrants with shelter.

Migrants explain why they're willing to take the risks

Many migrants cross the jungle of the Darien Gap on their dangerous journey to the U.S.

CBS New York's Jessica Moore spoke with Manuela Guerra Fletcher, a reporter with our partner station Caracol News.

Mayor Eric Adams wraps up tour of Latin America 03:37

"We spoke to a group of migrants and basically their message was -- if you knew what was going on in our home countries, the kind of dangers that we face, the kind of threats that we face, sometimes famine, sometimes lack of job opportunities, sometimes just really violent issues, you would understand why we are willing to take this trip," Fletcher said.

"Getting in (the U.S.) is also a matter of luck," said Miguel Ruben Camacaro, a Venezuelan migrant travelling with his two children and slept on a tent at Necocli's beach. "We will chase the dream, until there are no other options."

There were more than 200,000 apprehensions of migrants who crossed the border illegally in September, the highest level in years.

Adams' previous stops in Latin America

The mayor also went to Ecuador and Mexico during his whistlestop tour, where he visited shelters for migrants and spoke to local legislators.

After stopping in Mexico's Puebla state, Adams said his city is "at capacity."

"Our hearts are endless, but our resources are not," Adams told reporters. "We don't want to put people in congregate shelters. We don't want people to think they will be employed."

In Colombia, Adams said his goal is not to tell migrants what they should do, but to learn about their motives and find solutions to the immigration crisis.

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