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Mayor Eric Adams' message to asylum seekers: Don't come to New York City

Mayor Eric Adams begins 4-day trip to Latin America
Mayor Eric Adams begins 4-day trip to Latin America 00:25

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams is setting off on a trip to urge asylum seekers not to come to New York City. 

It comes amid a recent increase in asylum seekers of more than 4,000 per week. The city is out of room, which is why, Adams said, he is embarking on a voyage to Central America and South America to spread the message that asylum seekers should not come to the Big Apple

"I want to give the people of those areas the real story of what is happening in New York City," Adams said. 

Adams will embark Wednesday on a four-day trip that includes stops in Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and the Darién Gap, a dangerous stretch of jungle along the border of Panama and Colombia that many asylum seekers pass through on their way to the U.S. 

"We're going to tell them that coming to New York doesn't mean you're gong to stay in a five-star hotel. It doesn't mean the mere fact you come here, you're automatically going to be allowed to work," Adams said. 

The trip is an attempt to dismantle what the administration describes as a misinformation pipeline that encourages asylum seekers to continue crossing the border, despite limited housing and legal work opportunities in New York City. 

"New Yorkers should prepare that you're going to see lines over the next coming weeks and months because, again, there is a surge at the border. New York City is out of capacity," Adams' Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack said. 

On Tuesday, Adams asked a court to temporarily suspend New York City's decades-old practice of offering shelter to any adult who seeks it, proposing the right-to-shelter law deserves an emergency pause while the city grapples with the ongoing wave of asylum seekers. 

The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless responded, saying, in part, "This is the city's most significant and damaging attempt to retreat on its legal and moral obligation to provide safe and decent shelter for people without homes since that right was established 42 years ago."

The mayor's first stop will be Mexico City on Wednesday evening. 

The New York Immigration Coalition has spoken out against the trip, saying the mayor should instead be focusing on improving the city's shelter system. 

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