The outspoken mayor of the nation’s largest city has in recent weeks pointedly criticized Biden over the White House’s response to the asylum-seeker crisis. New York City has projected billions of dollars in costs to provide shelter, food and other services to over 60,000 migrants. Adams has called for more funding from the federal government, an organized resettlement strategy at the border and expedited work permits to help him manage the influx. And as the expiration of a key border policy set for later this week grew closer, Adams amped up his rhetoric, most recently lumping the sitting Democratic president in the same boat with the congressional Republicans.
“It is not about the asylum-seekers and migrants, all of us came from somewhere to pursue the American Dream,” he said last week. “It is the irresponsibility of the Republican Party in Washington for refusing to do real immigration reform, and it’s the irresponsibility of the White House for not addressing this problem.”
Before that, Adams was sounding more like a Republican than the Democratic mayor of a city that’s long been a beacon to newcomers when he said Biden “failed” the city on immigration. He added that New York “is being destroyed by the migrant crisis.”
The mayor using his bully pulpit to push for more federal resources always carried the risk of alienating Biden world. With tens of thousands of migrants already awaiting the expiration of Title 42 at the southern border, immigration is expected to be a key Republican attack line during next year’s campaign. Having a Democratic mayor in a solid blue state — and a campaign surrogate no less — echo attacks from the right was bound to sow discontent in Washington.
A Democratic aide who described his boss as a “loyal foot soldier” on the advisory board had no independent knowledge of why Adams wasn’t on the list but said, “The relationship has soured.”
He added the Biden campaign likely dropped Adams because he was critical of the White House’s response to the migrant crisis. “That’s almost certainly what happened,” the aide said. He noted Adams “made somewhere between in-artful to stupid comments that were kind of out of bounds.”
The Biden campaign declined to give a reason for the change. Several other prominent Democrats including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also appeared in a Washington Post article about the board in March, but were not listed Wednesday’s roster.
A spokesperson for Adams referred POLITICO to the Biden campaign for questions about the advisory board, but said that the mayor remains an avid supporter of the president.
“As the mayor has previously stated, he stands ready to help the president with reelection however he can,” the spokesperson, Fabien Levy, said in a statement.
Levy also pointed POLITICO to previous statements the mayor made in response to a question about how he might balance his support for Biden with his critiques of his border policy.
“Being the president comes with a menu of items, it doesn’t mean there’s not going to be an item on that menu that I dislike,” Adams said at a press conference in March, shortly after he was named to the board. “I dislike what we’re doing around the asylum seekers, but I always say that I believe the president is just a blue-collar president. I’m a blue-collar mayor. I like his policies. I think he’s good for the country — and it doesn’t mean I’m going to agree with him 100 percent on everything.”
Myah Ward, Joe Spector and Julia Marsh contributed to this report.
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